How Not to Phone Old

For starters, don’t yell into your cell.

By Pamela Redmond Satran • Guest Writer
Photograph: Photo by iStock.

Don’t yell into your cell phone. Old people talk into their cell phones as if the phone was a tin can attached to a string, and the string was so long that the person with his ear pressed to the other tin can was in China.


Although cell phones are extremely tiny and not connected to any wires, they’re really more efficient than that. You can speak in a normal voice—no, in a softer-than-normal voice—and the other person will hear you. We promise.

Sssssh. That’s better.

8 Ways Not to Phone Old

1. Don’t be unable to find your cell phone because you put it away in a different place every time.

2. Don’t hold your phone at arm’s length—so you can read the numbers—and then dial very, very slowly, with your index finger.

3. Don’t be afraid of your phone: learn to program the speed dial, use the voice-activated and speed dialing, regulate the volume, even—wow!—use that tiny button on the side to flick off the ringer thing.

4. Don’t be clueless about the other things besides making phone calls that your phone can do: texting, alarms and . . . gee, that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

5. If you’ve figured out texting, adopt a few of the basic shortcuts: idk (“I don’t know”), yt (“you there?”), cu (“see you”), ttyl (“talk to you later”).

6. Don’t hurry off the phone because you’re afraid of running up your bill. You have 800 hundred minutes a month, and you’ve used only 63.

7. Do not set your ringtone to the Sex and the City theme or the old phone tone (brrring brrring).

8. Try not to suffer from cell-phone deafness, aka the inability to hear your cell phone ring or catch what the other person is saying unless you’re in the equivalent of a soundproof booth.

From How Not to Act Old: 185 Ways to Pass for Phat, Sick, Hot, Dope, Awesome, or at Least Not Totally Lame by Pamela Redmond Satran. Copyright 2009 by Pamela Redmond Satran. Published by Harper Paperbacks, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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Pam’s blog


First Published Thu, 2010-11-11 16:38

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