Random Quote #71 topic: haywards-definitions
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Telephone, n. A very poor substitute for reaching out and touching
someone.

In a personal conversation with a friend, the text of what is said is
of course important, but there is more. Eye contact, touch, and body
language are all carriers of personal presence; of such things, only
tone of voice is preserved, and even that is often garbled by line
static.

As such, telephone conversations are a distant and miserable rendering
of enjoying another person's presence, and it is no great surprise
that a majority of them are terse and technical: taking the necessary
time to say what needs to get across, but not really taking time to
slow down and chat. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, fifty percent
of phone calls are one way (person to answering machine), and
fifty-two percent of residential phone calls do not last for more than
a minute. People exchange brief messages and get tasks done, but
maintaining friendships and keeping in touch with family is something
which seems to happen. And, if there is any real distance between the
involved parties (which is often why a phone call is used as a
substitute for a personal visit), it costs money by the minute. Touch,
eye contact, body language, and an unhurried and relaxed time are all
vitally important, and the telephone takes away all of these. One
might be tempted to forget all of this by advertising slogans that
suggest touch and show the faces of family warmed by each other's
presence, but it is still true.

All in all, a quite perfect picture of how not to cultivate
relationships with friends and family.

-- Hayward's Unabridged Dictionary



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