Earlier this year I wrote about The New Mutes—Generation Y workers who should be covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act because they are apparently incapable of using the telephone.
The New Mute, I wrote, is
unable to convey meaning or feeling by tone of voice or body language or facial expression. It is not known whether the New Mutes are unaware of the crucial uses of these basic human tools, or merely unable to employ them. Whatever the case, the result is the same: The New Mutes are entirely dependent on what they say and unable to control how they say it, beyond the blunt and banal use of exclamation points and emoticons! 🙁
Well I have an update, and the news is not good. Recently I spoke with an IT director who said he's frequently clashing with young employees who are unplugging their phones, because, in their inevitable words, "I never use it."
Yes, he implores them incredulously, but you have a phone number and people might call and you need to answer it or at least note when it rings and check your voice mail.
Probably uncomfortable with even this much spontaneous, analog communication, the kids shrug, plug in their phones just to mollify him, and then unplug them again when he is gone.
This generation will take over some day.
They'll text us.