A Year To Change – eBook
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Why people under 25 don’t return phone calls…

Generation Text

Why won’t they call me back?!

I listen to people say how frustrated they

get with “young people today” who don’t answer

their cell phones, don’t return voice messages,

or emails, sometimes (gasp) not even texts…

texting being the most reliable means of

communicating with an under 25-something.

They see this as disrespectful, lazy, rude…

all these negatives and pejoratives.

But it got me to thinking  how maybe

what they’re doing isn’t such a bad thing.

You’re HOW old?!

Indulge me for a moment in a trip

down technology memory lane…

I promise I didn’t walk 5 miles to school

barefoot in the snow, uphill.  🙂

But ranking right up there,

I grew up as a kid in the 70s and 80s.

 

My family had a television.  I was the remote.

My family had telephones  They had cords.

One could stretch down the hallway so you

could maybe get a little privacy on a call.

I was a teenager before we had an

answering machine for our phone.

There was no caller ID.

I know…right? We were so out of touch.

Then We Became Slaves Updated

Once we got the answering machine,

life changed.

Before the machine, if someone tried

to reach you when you were not at home…

too bad.

You never even knew they were trying to reach you.

 

Once they could leave a message, there was

this automatically implied obligation

that you return the phone call.

No one asked if you wanted to…you just did.

 

Then came pagers.  I had one on my first job.

No one asked if I wanted to make the phone

call to respond when the pager went off.

You just had to.

 

Next up, cell phones.

No one asked if you wanted to answer

the phone wherever you were when it

went off, or if you wanted to return a

voice message.  We just did.

Then Came Texting

By and large, it is younger people who

have led the texting revolution…

my 10-year-old taught me how to text..

but I believe they are leading the charge

for a much bigger revolution than that.

 

Texting allows you to be in complete

control of when you communicate,

if you are going to respond, and when.

Yes, it can be “impersonal,” but you also

don’t get hung up trying to get off the phone

with someone who is draining your time.

 

Younger people won’t respond to an

actual call or voice mail…you have to

text them or tweet them or ping them.

Then they decide if/when to get back to you.

I don’t have to!

Having control over if they want to respond,

when they will respond, and how they will respond

is power.  Personal power.  There is no feeling

of being obliged to respond when you want them

to.  There is no feeling of having to give of their

time and energy unless they want to.

A New Work Ethic

And there’s a new work ethic that goes along

with this, too…younger people are not as likely

to follow in the footsteps of their workaholic,

working overtime, working on weekends,

taking-the-cellphone-and-laptop-on-vacation

work ethic of their parents and grandparents.

 

Their great-grandparents (often just their

Grandfather) went to work from 9-5 for a

company or organization for life, who had

a pension set up for his retirement.

Their parents and grandparents have not

had that luxury.  They have often had both

parental units working, often long hours with

little to no compensation other than a little

more money in a paycheck.

 

They have had a lot of things, but they have

also done without much that matters.

They have watched these companies use their

parents up, burn them out, and then lay them off,

or leave them in retirement woefully underfunded.

Thanks, but No Thanks

Younger people are saying thanks, but I’d

rather give 110% when I’m at work between

the normal business hours of 9-5.

After that, it’s my time.

It’s my family’s time.

It’s not your time.

It’s not that you are not important.

But your emails are not AS important.

Your phone calls are not AS important.

Your voice mails are not AS important.

They are not AS important as having a life.

Text Me!

So if you really need to get in touch

with someone under the age of 25…

throw them a text.

They might just text you back.

But don’t hold your breath…

in fact, why not go do something

while you’re waiting instead?

Maybe something even more important.

 

 

 

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