In praise of long conversations.

Live conversations are good. Telephones are good. Not the smartphone part, with the data plans and the web surfing. Talkin' 'bout the phone itself, verbal exchange function. One voice, another voice. Old school.

Texting can be a quick exchange of wit. Or a way of shooing away some nuisance you'd rather not truly engage. This aversion can be a tacit agreement.

Social networks are SORT of communication, more like flash-posing.

User: "Here's a polished tableau, ponderously composed, now displayed for your appraisal." [POST] "What do you think, world?"

World (consisting of myriad sub-Users): "Ah! Good pose. Will mark it. Then will respond with a counter-pose." [POST] "Hey, initial User and fellow sub-Users, will you validate my existence by marking my selected façade?" [Eyes half-kept fixed on notification alerts]

Email burnout: I am days behind messages friends sent to my home account. Smartphone trills during the day with home email notices, so I'm aware of them. Once home it's tough to find the will to start up email after obediently tending to it all day. Even when I care about my friends in the messages (and I always do). Even when I know they are waiting for my response and wondering where the hell I am.

But I like talking on the telephone. I especially like talking in person. If someone calls to propose some fun, or ask a question, I answer and bound into action immediately.

I don't go out very often. "Ah!" I hear you thinking (you should turn the mic off on your computer, with all that loud-thought-stuff going on), "Maybe you should return home email messages more promptly, thus faciliate more social opportunities!"

Thanks for the advice. Imagine me making a "Meh" face.

This trait precedes interwebs.

My high school girlfriend and I had long phone conversations. 3 hours. A few 8 hours. Maybe a 10 hour in there. Wake up in the morning, phone handset pressed against face. Rat-a-tat sharing and laughs, then as things hit a downward cycle (at many points also hurtling back upward - we were like the economy) there were loaded silences. I once measured a 20 minute silence.

— A pause to reflect on how people in their late teens may not be able to speak with 100% certitude of inextricable metaphysical bonds and destiny. Even when meant really, REALLY hard. —

Okay. Back now.

As awful as they were (and laughable now), the loaded silences had charm. There was drama, but wouldn't have been so loaded if there weren't a deep trust and vulnerability. Rawness. In-the-moment. With voices. Interrupting each other when urgent. Human to human.

When stakes are low in phone conversations (or in person) a sweet span is that groggy zone where you don't care if the next thing expressed would be intelligible in a transcript. The WHAT talked about may fade. What DOES last is that I-don't-give-a-shit what I say next, because there's trust and belief the other person is worth listening to. Voices (and faces) getting dumb and funny because there's no worry about sounding smart. Dopey, slapdash, no typing needed.

Poses online can be a tedious pageant affirmation of existence/territory. Flash and counter-flash. Admire my plumage. I'll glance at yours.

Phone calls and conversations reach deeper primate nature. Assurance you merit receiving shared things, worth being heard, and trusted with words and moments not planned.