My phone doesn’t get service at home, so I sometimes message mutual friends from my boyfriend’s phone. Whenever I do that, I suffer the strangest quandary. I wonder, is it better to a) pretend to be him, and say “Liz was wondering”; b) introduce myself with, “Hey, it’s Liz using Charlie’s phone”; or c) do neither, and let the friend in question assume whatever he or she wants about the message’s origin?
— Liz, Normal Heights
More people ought to consider 21st-century epistemological dilemmas such as this. Do you want to know how I know that most people don’t? Because when I Google “using someone else’s phone,” the results split into roughly 100 million hits for “how to secretly read your boyfriend’s texts,” and another 10 to the eighth hits for “how to spoof someone else’s phone number in order to impersonate him.”
I paraphrased the results. The hit counts are real.
“How to handle the identity crisis of anonymously using someone else’s phone for purposes of only minor consequence” doesn’t even rate, so I guess the resolution of this formidable quandary falls to me.
My radical solution? Call. Potential misunderstandings eliminated.
I know. I know. Phone calls are dead. To quote fictional hipster Gina Linetti of Brooklyn 99, “Leave me a voicemail. I won’t check it ’cause it’s not 1993.”
I, along with a select group of forward-thinking hipster friends, have been quietly moving to resurrect the phone call. Were human communication edible, text messages would be two-for-99¢ Jack in the Box tacos. You could theoretically eat nothing else and survive, but would you want to? Phone calls, by contrast, are lobster bisque and steak au poivre — decadent, tragically out of fashion, and (let’s be honest) it’s very likely Mother’s Day if you’re having either.
The way I see it, making a phone call has the retro charm of a golden age when you had to hit the same key four times just to text a single s….except it’s still useful.