Pamel Paul–Is the Telephone Going the Way of the Dodo?

For the most part, assiduous commenting on a friend’s Facebook updates and periodically e-mailing promises to “catch up by phone soon” substitute for actual conversation. With friends who merit face time, arrangements are carried out via electronic transmission. “We do everything by text and e-mail,” said Laurie David, a Hollywood producer and author. “It would be strange at this point to try figuring all that out by phone.”

Of course, immediate family members still phone occasionally. “It’s useful for catching up on parenting issues with your ex-husband,” said Ms. David, who used to be married to Larry David, the star of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” “Sometimes when you don’t want to type it all, it’s just easier to talk.”

But even sons, husbands and daughters don’t always want to chat. In our text-heavy world, mothers report yearning for the sound of their teenage and adult children’s voices. “I’m sort of missing the phone,” said Lisa Birnbach, author of “True Prep” and mother of three teenagers. “It’s warmer and more honest.”

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