For my entire life, I've hated talking on the phone. I would dread having to call anyone and did everything in my power to either avoid making a call completely or get someone else to do it for me. I never thought I would get to the day where my phone is practically my lifeline and making calls has become the highlight of my day.
But here we are, in the middle of a pandemic. I haven't been outside my apartment in three weeks, and the only person I've actually seen is the guy who dropped off my groceries last week. I now spend at least an hour on the phone every single day, always with my parents, who are a few states away, and often with my friends as well.
In this weird time in the world when I don't know how soon I'll get to see my friends, I'm relying on the phone for that connection.
I would never have expected a global health crisis to be the turning point for going back to old-fashioned times when talking on the phone was a thing. I — as well as many people I know — have settled so firmly into texting and emailing, which cuts out virtually all of the personal aspect of communication, but it never bothered me, considering I still spent so much time around people. Now I don't see people, and all I have is my phone to connect me to them. Texting is no longer sufficient, because I actually miss speaking to my friends and hearing my dad's voice and making a friend laugh.
So now I make calls. Whether it's FaceTime or simply a phone call, I no longer hate it because it keeps me from sinking further into loneliness while I'm shut in my apartment until this pandemic has started to settle. I call my parents every day, which is the norm, but I value those calls more because I don't know the next time I'll get to see them in person. My dad beat cancer two years ago, and while he's technically in the clear now, I'm not about to bring any contamination from the sickest state in the country over to their house. So for now we talk on the phone every day.
It's not just my parents I'm calling, though. It's more friends than I've ever talked to on the phone in my life. I spent two hours on the phone with a friend in London I was supposed to visit last week. I spent another two hours on the phone with a childhood friend I haven't talked to in months. And even my friends who are local and who I see all the time have been getting calls from me, too. In this weird time in the world when I don't know how soon I'll get to see my friends, I'm relying on the phone for that connection.
It feels frivolous to say that I'm more grateful for my phone than anything right now, and yes, I know how fortunate I am that I'm healthy and my family and friends are healthy, but assuming that all remains the same (Team Stay at Home!), my phone is what will continue to connect me with them until we can all go outside again and go back to some semblance of normalcy. Who knows when that might be, so until then, I'll stick to phone calls, which really aren't so bad.