But James E. Katz, a professor of communication at Rutgers University, says his classroom research suggests that plenty of the people talking on the phone around you are really faking it. In one survey Dr. Katz conducted, more than a quarter of his students said they made fake calls. He found the number hard to believe. Then in another class 27 of 29 students said they did it.
"People are turning the technology on its head," Dr. Katz said. "They are taking a device that was designed to talk to people who are far away and using it to communicate with people who are directly around them."
Brilliant! But now that we know people are doing this, it's time for us to start calling their bluff: You aren't really talking to anyone are you? You're trying to say something to me, aren't you? Well, why don't you just say it directly?
Of course, anyone who blogs can't be too critical of people who opt for indirect modes of communication. And in fact, I'm not critical. I think it is a good way to express yourself diplomatically. The person in line in front of you is taking too long with a transaction? I'm sorry, honey, I will be home just as soon as I can... Yes, the Band-Aids are in the medicine cabinet.