Reach out and touch someone


Over the course of this blog, you will see me referring to advertising slogans, jingles and campaigns many times.  The peculiar offshoot of my original advertising degree is that I have a Warhol-like memory for ads throughout my lifetime, while suffering a curious lapse in many other areas (I think I mentioned I would do a post on that, but I forgot).

The title line was a successful campaign by the phone company to get you to call lots of people.  This was before cell phones and email.  Long distance calls generated massive revenue for the company (e.g., the “reach out” part).

Now we have call plans that give us free minutes, family minutes ad infinitum.  We also have multiple ways to contact people via email, internet, texting, etc.  So why is it so hard to stay in touch?

Perhaps this is not your problem.  You may spend hours texting, calling and emailing friends and relatives with ease.  For me, it’s definitely a problem.

The first part is easy.  I have never been a phone call person.  I can’t say why because I don’t have an answer why.  Granted, I’ve never taken any time to study the matter, but I don’t think there’s some deep childhood trauma or nightmares where I thought phones would eat me if I stayed on too long.  There are a few phone calls that lasted so long my ear hurt, but I learned to switch ears later in life.

So, though I can call any number of my friends and family, I often wait long periods that are interrupted only when they grow exasperated enough to call me first.  The system works fairly well for my tastes and allows me to have a cheap cell phone plan to boot!  I love it when a plan comes together.

I’ve no excuse for my lack of email contacts though.  As this blog attests, I have no shortage of blabbage (oops, there’s the red line.  I just created a new word) at any given point.  And the process of emailing is relatively easy and instantaneous.  Therefore, I am often puzzled by my occasional periods of inactivity in contacting old friends and/or acquaintances.

This is not to say that they notice my absence.  Often, the only time I hear from some of them is when I contact them first.  Perhaps they are on the same plan as me.  Or perhaps it’s that “other” issue.  You know, the one that goes something like:  it’s easy to stay in contact with people you see all the time, but the longer the distance, chronologically and geographically, between sightings, the less frequent the contact through any other means.

So, even though I may have had long periods of time spent with people in a close or friendly relationship, the nature of that contact weakens once our orbits start decaying.  In which case, I guess I’m actually doing a better job of keeping in contact than they are.

Of course, there could be another reason the contacts are so infrequent, but surely not.   Certainly, there has been no call for that.

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