I'm Renaming My Phone "Phony" • "30 Days of Focus" Day 2

Incidentally, my Dad is a huge Barbra Streisand fan.

Incidentally, my Dad is a huge Barbra Streisand fan.

Quite often when I talk to my Dad on the phone, I’m doing my dishes. I know how unbelievably loud that can be, so I either have the water on low and I try to move the dishes quietly or I put him on mute at points during our call. The latter means I’m constantly wiping my hands off to turn the mute button back so he can hear me, which I’ll admit is a little ridiculous.

I’m sure I could do the dishes much faster if I didn’t talk to him on the phone and I just banged them out, but I love the idea of killing two birds with one stone. Not that I ever look at talking to my Dad as a chore. I absolutely don’t. I love talking to my Dad, but he doesn’t always like talking to me when I’m doing the dishes. I can’t blame him.

“Rob, these things are like microphones,” he always says referring to how my phone picks up every little sound while I plead that I’m being as quiet as possible. I do feel bad, so I try to avoid it when I can.

The funny thing is that when I call him on the streets of NYC, he doesn’t hear any of the noise, which is markedly louder than my apartment.

Last night, I decided to call my Mom while doing nothing else. This was hard for me because it was already after 8:30 p.m. and I hadn’t eaten dinner. I wasn’t ravenous, but I knew my dinner would take a while to make and I’d probably be hungry before I started making it. However, since it was only day 2 of my “30 Days of Focus,” I decided to give it a try.

Talking to my Mom on the phone. Well, technically, I took this picture after our call. You know, cuz I stayed focused. :)

Talking to my Mom on the phone. Well, technically, I took this picture after our call. You know, cuz I stayed focused. :)

When my Mom answered the phone, she sounded tired, so I knew that it was probably going to be a quick call. We wound up having a really nice conversation, I shared some things she didn’t know about me and asked her things I’ve never asked her. We spoke for about a half hour, and it was probably one of the best conversations I’ve ever had with her.

Was it because I wasn’t distracted? Maybe. Will I make calls without doing something else again? I’ll try, but I can’t guarantee I’ll do it every time… except this month. :)

What I do know is that usually when I’m with someone IRL (that’s “in real life,” Mom), I’m not usually doing something else. I stay as focused and present on them as I can. I don’t have my phone out at the table during the meal. I find that to be incredibly rude. If I do have to take it out when I’m with someone, I’ll explain why and I appreciate when others do the same.

So I’ll do my best to apply that when making phone calls. You know, use my phone for its intended purpose, which is funny because so few people even like making calls these days. That’s why I think we should rename the phone the “phony.”

After all, It’s really not about genuine interaction. We use it for emails, texts, social media, apps and so much more. Yes, it’s an incredible tool, and I love my phone, but I also like genuine human interaction. That’s why I love storytelling so much. I love the authentic connection that I get from a live audience. I love the immediacy, the intimacy and the spontaneity that you get with being real in real life. It’s just like what you get from a real conversation whether it’s in person or over the phone.

And with all of the loneliness, sadness, pain and freneticism in the world, isn’t that what most of us want? To connect and be heard…with or without dishes clacking in the background? I like to think so. Tell me what you think.

Do you usually make calls while doing something else? Do you avoid making calls? Tell me all about it and if you like what you’ve read, please share it and subscribe below. Thanks!