Why Won’t Millennials Call Me?
Maybe it all started with AOL Instant Messenger when they were teens. They created acronyms like PIR (parent in room), 9 or PAW (for parents are watching), and other secret shortcuts to secure their privacy.
This new technology changed the way they communicated, disrupting the late 1950s teen telephone culture celebrated in the famous "Bye Bye Birdie" number, "Telephone Hour," that spread the word about Hugo and Kim getting pinned. And of course, cultural norms have changed since the "Telephone Hour" participants asked, "Did he pin the pin on? Or was he too shy?"
That's a far cry from LH6.
My first experience with this phenomenon was several years ago. I was working with an account exec at my agency on a project, and I left late in the afternoon to teach my class at Temple University, about 45 minutes away. Ten minutes into my drive, my phone alerted me to a text from the same account exec.
I called her using my Bluetooth and complained, "Why are you texting me? You know I'm driving now. That device you have in your hand is capable of making phone calls, you know."
She responded, "Well I didn't want to be intrusive."
"Intrusive is making me pull over on the road to answer your text," I replied.
Fast forward a few years when I was working with a Collegiate ECHO team on project to increase use of the Domino's Pizza mobile app. I posed the question: "Why would I want to go through several phone screens to order a pizza when I can just call and say, 'Make me a large pepperoni for pick up'?"
The team members replied, "So you don't have to talk to anyone." They went on to relate stories of late night pizza orders where friends argued over who was going to make the phone call.