Fandango’s Provocative Question #46

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. I missed posting last week’s provocative question because I was busy hosting out-of-town guests and didn’t have time to come up with one. But I’m back this week.

Anyway, by provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

I was watching “Jimmy Kimmel Live” last week and he and his sidekick, Guillermo, paid a visit to the New Yorker magazine in an effort to get a cartoon published in the magazine. Neither was successful, but Jimmy came up with this cartoon, which serves as the inspiration for this week’s provocative question.CDAE46BB-E23E-40BF-BDB9-14331575A5F4The cartoon shows a picture of a young man sitting in a jail cell with headphones on. He’s busy using his smartphone when the prison guard apparently advises the guy in the cell that he’s entitled to a phone call. The guy then asks the guard, “What’s a phone call?”

This got me thinking. According to my iPhone’s screen time tracker, I typically spend eight to ten hours a day using that device. But I spend almost zero time talking on the phone. I don’t answer my phone unless I know who’s calling. And these days, I rarely get phone calls from people I know. My adult kids communicate with me exclusively via text messages. On those rare occasions when I use the phone to call them, the usual response I get is, “Why are you calling? Why didn’t you just text me?”

It seems that, increasingly these days, people of all ages are shunning phone calls in favor of chat apps and texting. So my provocative question this week is:

Has using a telephone for making calls become obsolete? For those of you who grew up without the internet or smartphones, is calling and speaking with people on the phone still important? For those of you who grew up only using smartphones, is it necessary to call anyone anymore?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

28 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question #46

  1. Stroke Survivor UK October 30, 2019 / 3:15 am

    Your mention of the New Yorker reminded me of the time I was sitting in the lounge at JFK, awaiting a flight back to London….and hit this article telling me about this spate of crashes where 737s dove into the ground! I’ll write a proper post later, when I’ve thought of something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango October 30, 2019 / 7:31 am

      Helluva thing to read as you’re about to board a plane!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Irene October 30, 2019 / 6:07 am

    I’d talked on the phone for hours as a teenager; now, I only call my mom in Mexico (although I am starting texting with her caregiver, so who knows?) Now I prefer to text if I can, even friends in the same city as mine. Skype is useful with my daughters, and they have called me only when I failed to respond to their texts in a promptly manner. I suppose if I were still working I would use the phone more, though; my husband gets calls all the time.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. revivedwriter October 30, 2019 / 8:27 am

    I grew up right in the middle of the technology revolution. The internet existed but wasn’t really huge when I was a kid. I got my first smartphone when I was 20, I think.

    There are a few friends with whom I talk on the phone, but usually it is just texting. I wouldn’t say phone calls are obsolete, because it really is nice to hear somebody’s voice. That said, usually people my age and younger don’t actually call.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marleen October 30, 2019 / 1:00 pm

    I like to text on my smartphone or iPad, and I, like you, don’t answer a call — or a text for that matter — if I don’t know who is calling. My millennial kids text as well. Yet they not infrequently (maybe a third of the time) choose to talk rather than text, especially if there are more than two lines to convey. My oldest one (also a millennial) seems not to like text really, even for the briefest thing, other than something like a happy birthday in the morning if we’re getting together later in the day. If it’s anything else, he will call after even a brief text, to talk about whatever it is. But he would rather I just call. I used to make sure to only text in the middle of a work day, so as not to bother him at work. But he is bothered if I don’t call, even then. He is in *IT, and he likes all kinds of technology. Telephoning is still part of that to him, and thus to me… which is nice. I skype with my son who lives across the ocean… also nice. He and I sometimes text via Skype, but we also have relatively long “phone” type calls, and not only on special occasions.

    * They hired him without a degree or certificate in computers (but a degree in something else) because he’s good at interacting with people… and they wanted someone to be in charge of the whole operation in this country, including customer-facing.

    My youngest one is, I think, a millennial. He’s maybe the most satisfied with texting of them but still makes and answers phone calls. I was reading, recently, online, some information that might barely put him in gen-Z (I looked up a musician I saw on Seth Meyers’ show.)

    Maybe it’s the “I’m on a boat” generation (referencing a SNL joke music video). I am liking this musician, though.

    With business people, I prefer to text or use email… and I pretty much don’t “like” email (but find it important). With these options, there’s a record of what we’re doing. I’m not sure what percentage of the population (older than millennial) gives a hoot about their “word.”

    Yeah. I saw someone like Trump coming. [ Insert Rage Against the Machine music here; in other words, Paul Ryan didn’t get it. ]

    I do call businesses that I trust — like USAA.

    Friends, I call or text… maybe the same one to two ratio as I experience with my kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Leonise October 30, 2019 / 11:20 pm

    Stupid new blogger question (bc it’s always easier to ask then to look it up myself 🙄) What is a pingback, how do I insert one and what does it do?


    • Fandango October 30, 2019 / 11:30 pm

      A pingback is just a link to another post. You simply highlight the text in your post and then click on the link icon and put the URL of the post you want to link to.


      • Fandango October 30, 2019 / 11:35 pm

        Here’s the “official” WordPress instruction: “To add a link, highlight the text you wish to have as your link then tap the paper clip icon and fill in the destination URL. Click OK when you are done.”

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Leonise October 31, 2019 / 5:13 am

    Oh. Ok. That’s easy enough! Thank you. I was scared it was some complicated deep blogger techy stuff. I did a pingback to your Spam post on the Cart Shaming post I promised. At least I think I did. I inserted the link so…that’s it, right?

    Still figuring out tagging and how to get my posts to go into the categories I want but I will get there. Thanks for the help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango October 31, 2019 / 11:49 am

      I enjoyed your post. Good information and I like your writing style. And you handled the link like pro!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Leonise November 15, 2019 / 4:22 pm

        Thank you! I appreciate that! Sorry this thank you is late – been engaged in the Battle of the Categories Menu post team. I’m a team of 1. I may be outnumbered but I’m not completely out-classed!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. ruddjr November 2, 2019 / 6:23 am

    I rarely use my smart phone. At the same time I don’t phone people often because we seem to communicate by text. My friends will text me that they are on the way. My friend phoned from her car to tell me she had arrived and I was in the bathroom. I phone her back and it hangs up on me. The same friend and I went to the market and lost each other. I sent her a text but she didn’t look at her phone so we are wandering around looking for one another.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 2, 2019 / 12:27 pm

      Sometimes communications don’t work as anticipated.


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