The Social Network That Beats Twitter AND Facebook

MicahI talked about contact management applications last week with a friend who does Business Development, it seems many people’s communications have shifted to various social tools (Facebook, Twitter et al.) This is fine and many are fully on-board the “Wave of the future.” I’m not convinced. I’ve found an more effective social network than either Twitter or Facebook. The downside, it’s pay to play, costing me upwards of $70 a month. The up side? It’s 10 times larger than Twitter and Facebook combined. It’s the cellular network. Your telephone. Too many underestimate the value of a phone call. You know that your message reached who it needed to and you get instant feedback. It requires nothing more than a handset and service. It has privacy settings (If it’s not a good time, don’t answer!) You can text one or many privately. Recently had to find a source on short notice: colleague sent a Twitter @ message, I picked up the phone. GAME OVER. “Phone calls don’t scale” Perfect! The limited amount of hours in everyone else’s day is what keeps them from being able to talk to the same people I do. Inability to call thousands makes receiving a call / text message somewhat special. I’ve met people I’ve liked immediately, but even then, making friends and building relationships requires putting in time. In romance if you can’t meet face to face, you take it to the phone, why should your other meaningful interactions be any different?

Why aren’t you on the phone?

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  • Erin, QueenofSpain

    excuse me while I go prank Micah

  • Micah Baldwin

    Too bad I blocked your number.

  • Naomi Mimi

    now where did i put that business card with your number on it…

  • Michael E. Gruen

    The phone is a closed network.

    Facebook, Twitter, et al tend to be promiscuous.

    As such, I agree: there’s so much more value in the phone, but it’s a different value.

  • Jeremy Tanner

    @Erin… Prank away!

    @Mimi – Scroll down this page just a little bit more, it’s on the bottom right corner… Should I make it bigger?

    @Micah Watch it, or the next post may well be about the value of throwing parties at Micah’s house while he’s away on business.

  • Merredith

    It would be easier — and quicker — to be snarky. No investment, and hey, I “touched” you. It’s a micro-relationship.

    But I think you’re on to something here. We’d better be careful or we’ll dumb down our relationships, spreading our wit thinly over many, instead of actually, you know — picking up the phone and spending a few moments with just a few.

    Geez, it’s so counterintuitive it’s almost reactionary.

  • Aaron Brazell

    Here I go to suggest this to Techmeme. First time.

  • Lucretia Pruitt


    Well, here’s my counter argument:

    1) I hate phones. Loathe phones. Given the choice, I don’t answer my phone. It’s better described as ‘phone phobia’ but really? It’s not something that’s every going away.

    2) When I do concede to get on the phone – it messes up everything else. It’s immediate, right now, you can’t do this when it’s convenient for you – only when it’s convenient for both parties. Hard to get off the phone when you need to… if it’s too short, you wonder if the other person didn’t want to talk to you.

    3) Twitter, email, facebook, you name it? Allows me to post, talk, chat, when I have time. My twitter never “rings” when I’m in the bathroom… or asleep… or otherwise occupied – only for me to find out that it wasn’t something important but only a bored friend driving from one place to another.

    Sorry, but for some of us? If the phone were a better network, we’d have already used it. :\

  • hubs

    I answer your question in just a second… I gotta take this call.

  • Joe

    Great post…facebook and twitter (email, etc.) leave out key elements of communicating with humans. That is why I agree and what I think detractors are missing is you’re communicating with someone – as it relates to building a relationship. Voice adds so much more dynamic to communication: tone, inflection, subtlety, clarity etc.

  • Graham Bell

    You should post your phone number then I ll give you a buzz…so will the 2,000 telemarketers waiting for your answer :)

  • Brooke Kuhlmann

    I would agree that when equipped with a cell phone and a good address book application you can get more out of your network of contacts than the online networks. I have written further thoughts on this subject here: LinkedOut and Facebook Deactivated.

  • TheMacMommy

    Look!!! It’s a party on Jeremy’s blog! w00t! I had to come and sample the dip. How ya doin? Kiss. Kiss. Oh! Thanks! Is this a twist off or do I need a bottle opener?

    I have a love/hate relationship with the phone. When I was a kid my mother was always on the effing phone. She still is. She has conversations with other people while I’m on the phone with her to the point that I can’t tell who the hell she’s talking to. She just walks around with the phone on her head doing everything else saying, uh huh, yeah, Oh My God, tisk, tisk, uh huh, yeah. “Mom, you’re an asshole.” Yeah, uh huh, wow, yeah, uh huh. “Mom, you’re not listening to a word I’m saying!!” “Yes I am, you said I’m not listening to a word you’re saying.”

    I don’t want to be like my mom.

    I also vowed to myself that I would not be one of those mothers who talks on the phone and yells at her kid every other sentence I said Jeffrey get off that couch do you hear me! I said get DOWN NOW!! Oh my god, I’m so sorry. So, you were saying, the stock market sucks I know JEFFREY GET DOWN AND stop flushing the toilette. I know you need to count how many swirls but for the love of god! I’m sorry, yes, you need to get a blood transfusion. No, I don’t think we have the same blood type JEFFREY WILL YOU STOP with the toilette paper, it wasn’t that big of a turd!

    I’m sorry, can I call you back?
    When he’s in kindergarten?

  • TheMacMommy

    P.S. I wrote that whole one sided conversation at 12:30 am while my angel (who’s name isn’t Jeffrey) is sleeping. There were no interruptions, I said what I wanted to say at the moment, got to finish a complete sentence or two, and, best of all, no whiskey drinking was harmed in the making of this comment.

    Thank you for your contributions to my social life :)

  • Jen

    If I didn’t have horrendous hearing, I’d agree 100%. But I think I agree 80%. Some people don’t text, which makes my preference for text more difficult. So I also prefer email.

    But I think you made an excellent point and you’ve definitely, on many occasions, burst bubbles for people who are soooo “socialmediathis, blah blah, socialmediathat” — sometimes the most simple things are right in front of us.

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  • Jamie Favreau

    I completely agree with you on the value of a phone call. People have been so insistent on using Text messages they lose the human touch with a phone call.

    Some things are irritating because when you call someone they text you back. Why don’t people ever call you back? Just these things I wonder.

  • AngelaIsaxon

    Great post, keep it up.