“Whenever I get a chance to talk to high schoolers, I always want to ask them what kind of software they’re using…. So I asked them: What do you use for email? [And they answered,] ‘Some of us use Gmail. Some of us use Yahoo. But we don’t really use email.’ And I said, ‘What do you mean you don’t use email? Everyone uses email.’ And they said, ‘No. It’s too slow.’”—
In case you missed it, over the weekend, TechCrunch declared the phone call dead.
From their article titled “The Phone Call is Dead”:
In the tech industry saying that something is dead actually means “It’s on the decline.” And yes, the phone call is on an inexorable decline.
My original title for this post was “The Phone Call Will Be Dead In __ Years” but as consumer inertia is somehow still keeping our parent company Aol in the dialup business, I thought it might be prudent not to include an ETA on the death of the call.
Less obsolete but more annoying than a handwritten letter, the phone call is fading as a mode of communication even if the nostalgic will be singing its praises for awhile.
Gives us a great discussion point this morning. So, let the argument begin: Do you think phone calls are last century? Do you still enjoy talking on the phone, or would you rather just text? Further, does a phone call mean more than a text?
In what instances do you feel you need a phone call? Or do you ever feel that way?
As part of my Traveling Journal entry, I decided to illustrate a few things as well as write out my story of how I got to where I am now. This morning I was reading through it and was just gonna add a couple things. Those couple things turned into….a lot of things. I had some rather intense, drama filled years between 2006 and now that were exhausting, chaotic, life-changing & what I believe to be quite story-worthy. Soo it is a lengthy one, but I promise it’s worth a read. And if when you’re done you’ve got any questions, you’re going through or went through something similair, whatever/etc., pleease feel so very free to email me if you wanna at email@example.com.
Hope ya diiig it.
Soo, I have a story to tell you. It’s the story of what I so dramatically call my “dark years” & how my passion for the creation of wondrous things as well as a miracle or five (million) saved me from myself. The blonde hair/blue eyed-ness may have led you to believe that I’m all happiness & sunshine every day all the times, but that’d be quite far on the false side. And thank the goodness for that, cause those dark days brought me to where I am/who I am today & although they were awful, I am quite endlessly grateful they occurred.
I shall take you back to 2005. A wide eyed, relatively naïve…er, no, completely naïve, freshly high school graduated Meghan decided to go to a college that was located in Middle Of Nowhere, Alabama to study fashion design. Did I make this decision without even visiting the school? You betcha. Cause I’m stressful. Anyways, to sum up what you’re probably expecting- I HATED it. Never have I ever felt so desperately out of place or viciously lonely. Not to mention the fact that I was in an American Apparel sweatband phase- this was not so well received amongst the large population of fraternity & sorority kids. Wellp, things went from bad to worse come spring semester. I ended up in a dorm by myself, and this living alone made it all too easy for me to detach myself from the world completely. I literally didn’t leave my room for weeks on end, which a doctor later diagnosed as major depressive disorder. It’s a very real & completely disabling disorder that fills you with the lowest mood you can possibly fathom, accompanied by equally low self esteem, daily thoughts of suicide, loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, etc. Soo, obviously, I was very much not attending class, thus wasting ssoo much money on tuition. Disgusting. I haven’t a clue how I hid all this from my parents for so long, but come spring break when I went home for the week, the truth somehow came out and the uuh…”stuff” seeeriously hit the fan.
They were completely LIVID to say the least. So, they had me drive back to Middle Of Nowhere, pack up all my stuff & come back to Charleston immediately. When I returned I was to move back into my parents’ house, get a job & start paying them rent as per my dad’s “reality check” plan. He told me I was to give them rent money by the end of the week. This 19 year old bratty version of myself replied- “I don’t HAVE any money.”, to which he told me I had to be out by Friday if that was the case. So, my endlessly stubborn self said “FINE!”. I waited till my parents left for work the next day, packed a couple of my ratty thrift store suitcases & had a friend come pick me up & take me to downtown Charleston where a couple very obliging girls I kinda knew agreed to let me reside on their futon. (I do believe they deserve Saint status for doing such a deed.) These futon days lasted for about four months & are all just a stressful, sad blur. I was being reckless and ridiculous, hanging around a drinking, drugs & partying crowd, some kids even being heroin users, & my naivety was becoming relatively nonexistent. Not having a key to the place, there were some times I came home too late to wake anyone up, so I slept on the side of the house under a freakin tarp, and one time I even slept on the steps of a vacant office building nearby just because it was cold out and the brick steps were warm. I mean, pathetic. And the neighborhood was a bit much on the sketchy side- we even got robbed once. The only thing they took from me was my pillowcase because I didn’t have anything! I’m assuming they used it to put all the good stuff in. My birthday happened upon these futon days, and I’ll never ever forget sitting alone that night, crying on the back porch of some random kids’ house, thinking of how very different last year’s birthday was from this. My dad and I weren’t speaking at all so there was no “happy birthday” call from him, and the only gift I received were some groceries from my mom. A handful of incredible friends (y’all know who yuh are) as well as my deeply rooted, irrationally strong passion for creating art is all that kept me going, quite frankly. I’d sit on the futon & draw portraits for hours in these days of unemployment, taping them up on the wall as reminders of what I can accomplish with a pencil in my hands.
About August 2006, futon days were traded for “extra room under the stairs” days. Y’know, like Harry Potter. I was working at a bed & breakfast as a maid and front desk lady, always drawing portraits when I managed the desk, struggling to pay rent, even had to sell my surfboard I got when I was 16 to make ends meet. I’ve forever believed in spending your life doing what you’re passionate about, so I knew that art was my way out of this black hole. But I was just so lost & only looking to myself for the answers, I didn’t have a clue what path would lead me “out”. I was taking some classes at a tech school in attempts to find my way, but things felt so unbelievably bleak, I was lonely yet again & the depression came back with intensity, including those selfish thoughts of suicide. One night, underneath those pitiful stairs, these thoughts turned to actions. I held the means to my end in my hand and was prepared to go through with it, but in that exact moment a friend of mine so miraculously entered my room and immediately brought me back to reality. The realization of how selfish, weak and cowardly I was being was immediate and intense. This somewhat near death experience, I guess you could call it, served as one very extreme wake up call. I’m a Christian but I hadn’t spoken to God in such a long time because I was just too consumed in my own selfish ways, only living for me, thinking that I could figure things out on my own. I prayed right then & asked what the heck should I DO?!, I very clearly heard Him tell me to stop living for myself & start living for Him, serving others & utilizing these artistic skills he gave me. Also in that moment, missionary work in Africa was put on my heart (yeah, I know, RANDOM). That night, I emailed a missionary connected with my family’s church who worked in Africa. And as it turned out, there was a team being put together to go on a mission trip to Africa in just a couple of months. This pushed me to finally reconnect with my parents, who I’d kept distant for soo long, and to start going to church again. Both things helping pull me out of such deep, epic darkness.
Now, I don’t want you thinking that all of a sudden it was like, oh YAY life is super! Nothing happens overnight, lemme tell ya. Some exceptionally crappy things happened within the next couple months, including a falling out with my then two best friends I’d known since 6th grade that forced me to move out of the apartment, then back to my parents’, then to an apartment with my cousin, then to a townhouse with my cousin, then back to my parents’ cause I couldn’t pay rent. I also went from being a front desk/maid to just the maid. ‘Twas yucky. Ohh yeah, gotta mention I had two birds and they died..on the same day…seriously. RIP, Woodstock and Petree. And then, when you may think things couldn’t suck more, the trip to Africa even fell through which seriously threw me for a loop. Did I make up God putting that on my heart?? It was a scary thought, but I had faith that what I felt and heard was real. Even with this steamy truckload of no-goodness, I was okay, because I was fiiinally not alone.
I started taking classes that fall with hopes of applying to a school that one of my coworkers from the hotel told me about, a little place called The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. That December of 2007, by the grand gooodness & awesomeness of God, I was given priority acceptance to FIT as a General Illustration major. Ecstatically gleeful couldn’t even begin to describe how I felt about that. I waitressed & took classes as I impatiently awaited to begin my New York adventure in the fall of 2008. And guuuess what happened while I was waiting? A second opportunity to go to Africa, that’s what. It was SO beautiful to see the plan that had unfolded. When I thought back to the year before I realized that although I was eager to go, I was definitely not spiritually ready. This time though, you better belieeeve I was ready. And one of the most fantastic parts about the trip being delayed till then was that this time my dad was going too. So that May of 2008, me, my dad & 7 others were traveling around the country of Burundi, staying at different orphanages & I preached this story in front of thousands of people in several different churches. There was one church service where my dad and I both preached, I right after him, something I neeever would’ve thought possible just two years prior.
So, off I went that August of 2008 to New York City where I literally didn’t know a soul. I couldn’t have cared less though, because the moment I saw that skyline I felt a resonating joy at the fact that I was there and no longer in a spare room underneath some stairs. Just a few weeks after I arrived, through a rather beautifully intricate sequence of events and random mutual friends, I was introduced to my now best friends Amanda and Laurel (if you’ve seen any of my musical videos, they’re those absurdly pretty gals) who are of the best things God’s everrr ever given me. Months passed, school was amaaazing. (And uhh, this is irrelevant to the story but it must be said, I went home that summer and worked as both a deckhand on a sailboat and a domestic maid, like the lady who drives around with magnets on her car & brings her buckets of cleaning stuff into your house, mmmhm, that was me.) Anywho, my new glorious best friends and I made the brilliant move to Brooklyn, who I discovered to be my soulmate city. And welllp, I’ll just jump right to it. I was sitting in our apartment this past summer of 2010, procrastinating on a painting, and lurking around on Facebook of course. I saw that Amanda’s best friend Ally “liked” Levi’s on Facebook. That led me to wander over to the Levi’s page where I came across an ad about Levi’s search for the “First Ever Levi’s Girl”. I’m a sporadic being, as I’m sure you’ve come to find, so I read it briefly and thought, OOO I’m gonna enter it!! And…I did. Now here I sit in San Francisco, talking wayyy to much about how I got here, but I figure, if you’re gonna take the time to tell your story, then rrreeally tell your story.
All I can hope is that this crazy chaos of a story would inspire you to neverrr stop pursuing your passion, never everrr let any darkness get the best of you & don’t you dare ever settle for less. [Secret tool to helping make sure you don’t settle? Ask yourself: would my 1st grade self be disappointed in me right now? Works like a charrrm.] Better to starve with a full heart than strive with an empty one, dear reader.
And whilst on your journeys, even if you find yourself sans pillowcase on a janky futon and smelling like last night, do remember: good things take time but they are quiiite worth the wait, & along the way, you just might gain yourself one rather epic story.
“The thing that is so tragic about America today is that young people who go to college, unless they’re from extremely wealthy families, have to take out student loans. The great tragedy, therefore, is that young people who have been very educated start out life in debt. People in debt tend to be frightened people. They’re afraid of losing their jobs, their livelihood—that’s not a good way to begin life as a whole.”—
As someone who comes from a working middle class family and worked several jobs in college and certainly survived on loans to pay for my education, I will say this: Yes, it is tough. It’s tough worrying about how you’ll pay your rent, pay for your books, how you’ll possibly ever pay back thousands and thousands of dollars. However, that experience for me was not and is not a tragedy. I knew from day one that I was paying for every second of my education and I had to “suck the marrow” out of every single day in those four years. I had that pit-of-your-stomach fear every day that I had to be successful straight out of school and I knew that I had to develop the relationships, the opportunities, the experience to make that possible, starting on day one of freshman year.
Look, no one wants to have to rely on loans. Sure, it’d be nice to have certain things just provided and not have this debt. But, I wouldn’t trade that experience and the lesson that comes with being pushed to pay for your own education and establish your own path in life. If anything, it’s even more motivation to fight harder, work smarter, care more and push yourself every single day to make sure you don’t take any of it for granted.
“I think that marketers feel that people in my age group (19-21) are mainly rich, spoiled, college kids who have tons of money to spend. As for females, I feel that the generalization is that we all love to go out and get wasted…and the thing that concerns me most is whether or not I go tanning, what clothes I’m wearing, and what my hair looks like rather than global warming, human rights issues, or what’s going on in my country and government. Yes, a lot of girls can be and are like that, but not everyone is!!”—Female, 8095 Live on Marketers’ Misconceptions of Millennials