“I’ve been picking up the phone and calling my most important clients,” he said. “You can’t stop because there’s no email.”
This was a quote based on the outage of MS Outlook this past week. The Washington Post headline blared MS Outlook outage brings offices back to the 1980’s.
For the people who were working in corporate, this was an era when there was no email to speak of, and for that matter, no computers. I had an office on Sixth Avenue in New York at that time and all I had was a phone on my desk. That was it.
Afraid of being out of touch?
But I was in sales back then and that was all I needed. I broke every sales record at that time with just a phone. Even today, when I need to get it done and over with, I simply pick up the phone and dial.
As I read that Washington Post headline, I thought that maybe, just maybe, we could get more done if we did not hide behind the modern-day forms of communication. We have conversations today but they are ground in modern technology: email, and increasingly, text messages, Facebook messenger, Twitter, etc.
I travel quite a bit and I notice that in airports that you can always tell where the power outlets are because people are congregated around them recharging their mobile devices. They are being charged not, for the most part, to make a call, but to be able to communicate across the other platforms.
As you notice people, everyone is staring at the screen. My 85-year-old mother-in-law mentioned to me a while back that every time she travels she notices that people are not talking on their phones but are staring at the screen.
I realized that this was a conversation that I could not continue with her because she just would not understand what I was talking about. She uses her cell to make a call and then turns it off immediately. She thinks it costs more to keep it on.
Are we that afraid of being out of touch? Here in the Middle East where I work, everybody basically has two (2) phones and some will have three. When I’ve asked why, I never seem to get a credible explanation.
The Baltimore-Washington Airport (BWI) recently turned a bank of pay phones into charging stations. No one was using the public phones, so now those old style phones provide 184 outlets and USB ports at BWI for our new style of communication