It’s been six days now with no telephone and I’m feeling a little isolated. With no mobile phone signal and a slow, expensive internet service, we still rely on the old landline. Heck, we even have a fax. This is a world that few believe still exists – the communication giants in Australia see no urgency in fixing our line, as most people these days don’t even have a landline.
Getting on the phone and having a chat is one of those things that only country people seem to do anymore. I’m sure it’s the same in the UK, when you ring to order a part or book an appointment, the phone call could last as long as 15 minutes as all manner of things are discussed from the weather to the local football team.
My brother runs a software business in Perth that deals with farmers and he very quickly found this to be true. He now only employs country people to talk on the phones. City people seemed to have no idea how to have a chat, discouraging clients with their matter of fact tone and inability to carry a conversation.
I, like every farmer, love to talk when I get home in the evening. I guess it comes from spending all day alone and a need to share your ideas with like-minded people. Or perhaps it’s just to practise speaking, in case you’ve forgotten how to. To be able to have a good chat you need to be genuinely interested in the other person; maybe this is what separates us from our city cousins.
Only having email and Twitter for the past week has made me realise how important the “old-fashioned” landline is and how surprisingly unengaging social media can be. I’m looking forward to the landline finally coming back on so I can make a few calls.