My earliest memories was of a box that you spoke into to share secrets with others. I would hear all these mysterious clicks only to discover what I thought was secret could be regurgitated right back at me at any time.
It was also a little box that brought bad news. People from other countries would call in the middle of the night - someone is sick, someone has died. And the person receiving the message on our end would start crying or moaning.
And telephone calls with family members overseas were very brief and non-satisfying and very scratchy. "Is everything OK? Yes. Here too. Speak to you next week." In fact, this was my way of communicating with my parents once I was on my own. "How is everything? Okay? All is well. Speak to you next Friday"
Nowadays, with the cell phone, telephone calls have become impersonal - some thing to be done to pass time while doing other things such as driving vehicles or waiting for something else to happen.
For me communication is difficult enough between two people who are truly connected. Add a phone and wires in between connecting one box to another and a lot of meaning is lost in translation. Communication is only 30% about what is said. The rest is conveyed by body language. Alas, with a telephone - you are left to decipher the meaning of what you hear.
Over the years, I have become a better listener. I pick up tone and nuance in a person's voice. I listen for the pauses and silences and can better interpret what they represent.
And when speaking with older members of the family, it is amazing how much joy and solace a telephone call can create. Calling my grandmother in Romania out of the blue can make her day!!! And hearing her voice light up makes mine.
Wishing you all a Happy Mother's Day!!!