Rachel Hauck

Best-selling author and award winning author Rachel Hauck lives in central Florida with her husband and loving pets. She earned a B.A. degree in Journalism from Ohio State University and spent seventeen years in the corporate software world before leaving to write full time. Rachel loves to teach and mentor writers.

She is a Book Therapist at www.MyBookTherapy.com, a daily craft blog and community for writers. In the past, Rachel is the president of American Christian Fiction Writers and now servers on the Advisor Board. Visit her blog and web site at www.rachelhauck.com.

Mr. Watson, Come Here. I Need You.

We’re fickle people. Especially where technology is concerned. Fashion is no longer the object of the term that was so last year.

In the ’70s it was the 8-track tape until we held our first cassette. Rolling into the ’80s, we loved our Tandy until Bill Gates showed us what a computer could be with his Windows operating system.

We loved e-mail until texting became the trend. MySpace bowed a bit to Facebook. Twitter, well, it’s the new hottie in town.

Remember your first answering machine? Your first portable phone? How about when you broke down and bought a cellular device?


In this column I’ve talked about the power of social media on the Web. But there’s really one social “media” tool that remains powerful a hundred and forty years after its invention.

The telephone.

In October 1874, Alexander Graham Bell worked on a multiple telegraph. His future father-in-law, a Boston attorney, backed Bell’s work with the intent of breaking up the power and control of Western Union. (Some things never change.) At the same time, Bell secretly worked on a device that would transmit speech.

It’s amazing to consider where his vision to electronically transmit voice and sounds has brought us today.

When I was a girl, we lived in a small Oklahoma town and the rotary dial house phone was a party line. Back in my corporate life, I’d traveled to Kansas with a colleague and as we passed the local hotel, the sign out front advertised its best feature: Dial Phones. We had a good laugh.

We’ve come a long way from operator-connected calls, rotary dialing, and party lines, but it’s mind blowing that a nineteenth-century device is still a powerful social media tool today.

Voice communication has a few advantages over text, e-mail and Twitter.

1. Voice communicates more emotion and intent than words. Issues can be misunderstood or left unresolved through e-mail or text.

2. Voice communication can be more efficient. I recently had a text conversation with a good friend. If he had called me, our conversation would’ve been said and done in five minutes. Instead, my work was constantly interrupted by dozens of short text bursts. Each reply took me five to thirty seconds to read and answer.

3. A phone call adds the personal touch. Hearing someone’s voice, the emotion in their words, deepens any relationship.

4. A voice-to-voice call eliminates the possibility of messages being lost in cyber space. I once spent two months fretting over an absent response to an e-mail I’d sent. It was a sensitive subject, so I was nervous to call, but I was more twisted into knots by not knowing if my e-mail had been delivered. If so, why hadn’t the recipient responded? I finally called. It wasn’t an easy conversation, but a necessary and good one.

5. Cheaper! Depending on your cell phone plan, text messages can jack up your bill.

6. Instant! If you are away from your computer, a quick phone call can easily communicate a need or message instead of waiting to e-mail or text and then waiting for a response.

7. If you talk to someone, they can never come back and tell you they didn’t get your message. You know what you told them. You know their response.

We have many ways to communicate in today’s world. But don’t forget the telephone—where all of social media began.

Love Starts With Elle