Pick Up the Phone

Written July 2, 2009, after receiving a phone call asking me to not text but to call instead. It got me thinking, when in doubt…

Pick Up the Phone

I met with my shadow indoors all too often
For, you see, I had the habit of being inside
Connected to the social cloud, knowledgeable folks
People for whom my occasional witticism provided
Entertainment, nuggets fashioned around awareness

The enjoyment of brisk walks with portable devices
Prancing about town, carrying out mundane tasks
Errands had become more pleasant, bearable
Or so I thought, since I remained connected to the Orb
Pulsing through my tiny technology terminal, into me

Walter found that though the sunlight was bright
I could not see him, for my misplaced attention
Devoted itself to the information flowing forth
From a source of feedback society is learning to trust
While also enticing me to publish more historical context

So, my shadow began to abandon its duty
Perspective was much more clouded without him
Attempts to understand texts, tweets and e-mails
Could be likened to a trip through a minefield
Where each transmission is potentially explosive

Why have you left me stranded in this digital abyss?
Walter replied, “I cannot exist without light.”
“The Orb is filled with darkness and artifice.”
What will I do without you? How will I discern?
“Unplug and communicate. Share human emotion.”

Soon, artificial light replaced sunlight
As I became ever more entwined behind closed doors
Sure, I cast a shadow, but it was hardly Walter
Rather, a synthetic conscience emerged
Her inorganic nature was all too easy to ignore

She could be staring me in the face
Conveying to me the importance of aural stimulation
Oral interactions would fertilize our points of view
Allowing a garden of insight to flourish
Between us, a fountain of intuition would cascade

If only I would listen to Susan’s metallic musings
The orchestra of feelings within me would play
Loudly and clearly, submitting sounds to the sonic foundry
Forging trust through the tonal subtleties of spoken words
Rendering the Orb as insignificant as all else should be

“Contortions of technology will not bring peace,” Susan advised.
Are you saying that so-called efficient communication is flawed?
“Indeed, it is ineffective and even counter-productive.”
“What do we gain by sacrificing feeling to the compression of meaning?”
What do we lose? What should we do?

“Pick up the phone.”