My smartphone sits next to me as I write. I have over six pages of apps. I can use it to check Facebook, the Stock Market and the weather in Paris. I can snap a picture, edit it with my Camera+ App and then post in on Instagram. I can read the New York Times and listen to Pandora. I can send a text, write an email and set my alarm for the next morning.
But the thing that used to be it's primary purpose -- before it became so smart -- is the most underused app of all.
According to the IDC Research Study sponsored by Facebook, only 16% of smartphone usage is spent talking on the phone! The phone call has evolved from being "the next best thing to being there" to an intrusion and an infringement of one's precious time.
Why talk when one can text?
And email? It's so much more efficient to do business.
Or is it?
Is it a better use of time to watch the phone ring and let voicemail pick up than to experience human interaction?
Is it faster and quicker to reply to the phone message with a text rather than doing something rare and what in many circles is still considered polite and call me back?
But not always.
And here's the reason.
The sound of another's voice is a source of human connection.
Did you hear that?
It's why radio still endures as a medium in an age of multiple choice. It's why podcasts are increasing in popularity.
Your voice is a persuasive tool that does not translate in a text message. An email exchange might change the course of a difficult situation, but nothing will measure against the sound of another's voice.
True, it takes more courage to pick up the phone in a world that lets us hide behind our technology. But because it's used so infrequently these days, it also sends this wonderful signal that says the receiver is important enough to actually spend some time and talk with.
What a refreshing thought!
The point of technology is to enhance our relationships -- personally or professionally -- not substitute. There are plenty of situations where the text or email is the best and quickest route to communicate our message. But not always.
If you don't believe me, give it a whirl this week and experiment. Let me know what happens.