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Poll For My English Comp Homework

Hey, I'm alive! I've just been over on tumblr lately. Sorry.

Anyways, I have this paper I need to write, an argumentative essay, and I need some help with it. I just need everyone to take a few polls. Pretty please?

And spread the word, please!

So, background. My topic is Social Obligation. Basically, should you do something you don't want to out of social obligation? For example: birthday calls are a thing. But say you hate talking on the phone and would rather send an email. But somehow, emails aren't as personal (I don't really get that; it's like a birthday card you get faster) so you're told to call instead.

Or say it's the birthday of someone you never talk to. Do you call, and have them KNOW that you're only calling because you think you have to? In my opinion, that wouldn't make anyone feel good.

So, the polls:

Poll #1933866 Social Obligation

Do you think a person should do something out of social obligation, even if that person doesn't want to?

It depends on what it is (please elaborate in comments)
I don't know

Also, please comment on your thoughts about social obligation. You can remain anonymous if you'd like. I will likely be quoting some of you, but I'll be referring to you as either Anonymous, or Livejournal User or tumblr user, or Twitter user, etc. Let me know which; it might be useful.

And here's another poll, because I'm curious. Personally, I prefer emails. Because this is me on the phone: "Hello! I'm fine. You? That's good. Uh huh. Yeah. Oh? Uh huh. Good." And that continues for several awkward (for me) minutes. I never know what to say during phone calls. Whereas with emails, I have time to think of what to say and how to say it.

Poll #1933867 Methods of contact

Are emails less personal than phone calls?


Please spread the word!


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 14th, 2013 04:57 pm (UTC)
Polls won't let you vote if you're not logged in, so my answers are in the comment:
It depends. I believe there is a certain obligation to fulfill social obligations - to say please and thank you, to apologize for inadvertently insulting someone, to use a napkin at dinner and congratulate someone on their new baby - but that obligation is tempered by both personal comfort and degree of relationship.

If you find phone calls extremely anxiety inducing, then only the most important, strongly held social obligations to call someone can be fairly held to apply. If someone doesn't like being touched, than you shouldn't expect them to preform social obligations involving touching.

Basically, social obligation should be considered, but so should personal comfort and autonomy.

Phone calls aren't necessarily more personal than email, but they're different. The conversation is more 2-way, and if it's someone you don't talk to much, it's easier to engage because it's 'in the moment' as opposed to the over time-and-multiple-messages like an email conversation. When you're not close, it's easier for a phone conversation to be personal than email, essentially.

tl;dr It's complicated. Like everything else.
Sep. 15th, 2013 02:39 am (UTC)
actual commentary now that my phone isn't trying to crash.

no, I do not feel that you should do anything out of social obligation if you are not comfortable with it. sticking with your birthday call example, I will call my parents or brother if I'm not home with them, but only because I want to. I don't give anyone else I know birthday calls, and i have no desire to do so. I also feel no guilt when I don't do it, because I don't feel like it was a requirement. my grandmother is still my grandmother if I don't call, so whatever society thinks I should do is irrelevant.

as for email (and it's related communication types text messaging, Facebook posts and tweets), yes I do feel it's less personal but only because it lacks vocal and eye contact. they are brilliant for saying exactly what you mean, however, and excellent for getting your message there faster. the less personal nature of email does NOT invalidte its value, however, as it easily ad instantly enable communication (and great digital greeting card options) for people who might not otherwise be able to communicate.
Sep. 15th, 2013 05:11 pm (UTC)
I think everyone's moved to tumblr these days haha - I think this is the first time I've actually been on LJ in months since the kink meme moved to dreamwidth

I think there's a certain level of social obligation that you should adhere to, but exactly where that ends can vary depending on the situation and the people involved, since "social obligation" in itself is a bit vague - to go with the birthday example, I rarely give people cards because I find it extremely difficult to write something meaningful, however when I'm at work and there's a card being handed around (sometimes birthday cards but also goodbye cards, get well cards, congratulation etc.) I'll always sign it and leave a small message even if I don't speak to the person very often, because everyone else did and it would be rude not to - that said, my office was small enough that everyone knew everyone else in some capacity, and in a bigger company people might feel completely differently.

Also, while I generally don't think people should be forced to do anything they're uncomfortable with (I've suffered from severe anxiety since I was in my early teens, so I know how hard basic social interaction can be) there are some things which, quite simply, you have to buck up and deal with if you want to successfully navigate life, but those are usually the most basic of social niceties and calling someone you never speak to wish them happy birthday isn't one of those things - for me, those people would get a post to their FB wall if I happen to log on that day, or else nothing at all
Sep. 16th, 2013 05:16 am (UTC)
Poll 2 - Email and phone calls are both subject to spam.
But, email leaves behind tangible evidence that yes, someone cares enough to contact. That is, if one considers electronic format a physical touch.

Poll 1 - Social Obligation.
On the one hand, 'Miss manners' might suggest you do the 'proper thing' and conform to peer pressure and fulfill the expectations.
But, one's unease is transmitted through the contact and might be interpreted by the receiver as hatred.
So, it really depends on how well you know the person. Would they be willing to receive an alternative method of communication from you? Or would they be just as 'who-is-this?' 'why are you calling?' as they try to put a face to the name/voice?
On the one hand, some people LIKE getting phone calls because that means they can hear the voice, in real time, and just talk/chat. It could be their way of being friends long-distant. Not always the best way to remain in contact, or be reminded that they are loved and remembered.
On the other hand, there are only so many hours in the day, and time is always precious.

So, my advice - the closer you are as friends, try to call. If it helps to prepare a script before hand, and have a list of questions/possible responses, go for it.
For family and relatives you've never met? Email might be acceptable - but again, it depends on their personality (which you DON'T know - and for this, the scripted 'hi my name is' might be the best way to get through the introduction).

As for other social obligations beyond telephone verses email -- whatever is MOST COMFORTABLE for you BOTH. Or whichever method has more meaning for the reciever.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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