Sunday, August 12, 2007
No time to say goodbye
I've been watching a little TV lately. Okay, a lot of TV. Much more than I'm used to. Shows, movies and lots of commercials. And here's the thing I've noticed: Nobody says goodbye to the person they are talking to on the phone when the conversation is over, especially if they are talking on a cell phone. It doesn't seem to matter if it's an argument or casual chit-chat. One of the parties decides that the conversation has come to an end and flips their phone shut. No "Goodbye" or "See Ya" or "Later!" and definitely never "I love you." Just a snap shut and on they go on with their business, probably involving calling someone else right away. Does the person on the other end keep talking for moment or two? Do they, once they figure out that their friend is gone, just assume with a chuckle that the call was dropped? Maybe they wait a few moments staring at their phone, wondering if they should call back.
In the real world, this is caledl "hanging up on someone" and is considered extremely rude. You hang up on people who have made you so angry or upset that you can't imagine saying another word. You hang up on phone solicitors. You hang up on heavy breathers and kids who ask you if your refrigerator is running. But for the most part, in a civilized world, a simple goodbye is the proper way to end a phone conversation.
I must have missed something along the way. Because it is a rarity to see anyone give any kind of farewell on the phone in TV or movies. The closest you get is "Okay". That seems to be the new "Bye".
A phone chirps some annoying ditty...
"Hey, if you're coming over bring that box of stuff we talked about before from that place."
Both parties slap their phones shut with a flip of the wrist.
Maybe the media doesn't want to waste our precious viewing time with antiquated niceties. You can get a lot more story in if you cut out manners. "Please?" Please! "Thank You?" Umm... no thank you! "Excuse Me? Pardon Me? I'm sorry?" Boring!!!
I started noticing this because we were watching "Big Love" and there was this new supremely creepy character that did the most interesting phone sign-off. He got off the phone like he was signing a letter-- "Most Sincerely Yours Hollis Greene". He said that. Not once, but a few times during the episode and every time you sort of squirmed because it was so strange and yet so very polite as well.
It's possible that I'm being over-sensitive here. I am in fragile state and getting cabin fever to boot. Boot! Get it! That's a joke son! Broken foot humor, that is! I keep pitching 'em and you keep missing 'em!