414 Words About Hearing the Voices of My Friends in My Headphones

Adult friendship is such a gift, and so hard to come by, maybe more so when you’re in the stage of life I’m in. Young kids, busy job. Over the past year or so I’ve tried to dust off some dormant friendships and return to people I had left behind while I was too caught up in my own everything. I didn’t make an “I’m back!” announcement, I just started to call, and write, and voice text. It’s this last one that has surprised and delighted me the most. There’s something great about hearing the voices of the people I love talking to me while I unload the dishwasher or fold the laundry or drive to work. I notice the birds in the background, or they point out the clanging pots behind them as they make coffee. Sometimes they’ll just keep recording while a child comes into the room, “Sorry, dear, you can’t have screen time, no.” It all gives me a glimpse into how our lives are the same, and also different.  

One interesting thing to reflect on is how voice texting allows for both me and my friends to tell stories to one another, completely uninterrupted. When Mark Yaconelli taught about storytelling in my church he said something like this: “When someone is telling a story, they are in a magical trance. It ruins it if you butt in and ask them, ‘How many people were in the car, again?’ Let them speak without interrupting.”

I think about this, now, as my friends tell me stories about their mothers-in-law or their pregnancies twenty years ago. Sometimes they tell me stories about things I doubt would come up if we weren’t communicating in this way. I hear stories about childhood or random things that happened just now. Sometimes the story gets long and I hear “I’ll come back and do a part two.” Can’t wait. 

I have one friend who will drop really short voice messages into conversations. I don’t know why, but it’s always hilarious. We’ll be typing back and forth and all of a sudden his voice drops in there “Stop! You’re being paranoid!” It’s… probably true.  

I’ve been thinking a lot these days about social media and what it does and doesn’t do and how it lies (more on that another time!)  For now, I’ll just say that I’ll take my lazy recorded messages from the people I love over the doomscroll any day. It’s so good to hear their voices. 


Word Count: 414 Words 

#WritersWrite and I write almost every day. I sometimes share my thoughts publicly in this series called “500 Words or Less” This practice allows me to explore a variety of different topics in a restrained/contained way and learn what resonates with people. I wrote it, not AI. If you share, please give proper credit. © Traci Smith, 2023. All Rights Reserved.

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