The life and words of Ashley, Erin, and Michelle

Do You Have a Phony Phone Voice? March 30, 2010

Filed under: Life in General — Erin Joy @ 11:52 am
Tags: , , , ,

“You have such a sweet phone voice. Will you call me and leave me a message, just so that I can appreciate it.”

It’s the most awkward compliment I’ve ever received. Considering the guy who said it to me was known at our college for making other people feel uncomfortable, I just found it amusing. But ever since, I have paid attention to and tried to somewhat normalize my sickeningly sweet telephone voice and to the noticeable changes in the voices of the people around me.

Moms can easily turn on this voice in between yelling at their children for disobeying to a pleasant sweet  (and occasionally only slightly frazzled) “hello?” Students yelling at their computers may answer their cell phones as if they haven’t a care in the world.

In my observations, though, I’ve noticed that people don’t just have a “phone voice”, many people often have a “prayer voice” as well. Even though we might have just been laughing our tails off at some ridiculous joke or yelling across the room to a friend, the moment we go to pray, our voices change.

For the past several months, I’ve made it a point to note how people start out their prayers. Even small children seem to have picked up this habit. The moment you bow your heads to pray aloud, a somber tone comes over the group, and the person doing the honors often clears his or her throat before starting in a lowered, much more serious tone. Children often turn their voices to a whisper.

Now, I completely understand having a reverent voice when you speak to God. It makes sense. We’re supposed to honor and revere Him. But does that mean that we can talk about God in such a light way any other time? He hears everything we say anyway.

Maybe it’s not the fact that we tend to have special ways of speaking for prayer, but rather the fact that there is such an extreme change in the way that we talk. Is it our culture that we must be brash and demanding in everyday conversation but then act solemn and sedated in prayer? Or is it just me?

What do you think? Are you one of those people who tends to have different “voices” for different situations you are in? Do you have a “prayer voice”? Should we have a “prayer voice”?


7 Responses to “Do You Have a Phony Phone Voice?”

  1. CalntoR Says:

    At times I probably have a “prayer voice”, but I don’t think so all the time. I’ve noticed it in others, but never really thought about it or the reasons why. Interesting, though.

    • Erin Joy Says:

      I’m just not sure if it’s an exaggerated reverence.

      I’ve noticed that even pastors do when they are praying in front of the congregation. There are very few people I’ve met who pray without a “prayer voice.”

  2. Erin,
    I’ve noticed this too. I partially think you’re right we’re taught to physically humble ourselves when addressing God, but part of it may just be the effect of prayer. I feel like prayer clears your mind of everything else and reminds you of who you are and who God is. If that makes sense.

  3. Abby Says:

    I agree with Ashley- not all reverence is exaggerated- it’s just reverence. Of course God “hears everything we say anyway”, but that shouldn’t have to change the fact that we speak directly to him differently.

    In this case, I feel like the metaphor of God as our father is apt.
    As a child, you usually use a very different voice when talking to your siblings than when talking to your dad. Your dad commands respect in a way your sibling does not. That doesn’t mean you never joke around with your dad, but the way you address him is totally different, which is exactly as it should be. Does that make sense?

  4. McMilt Says:

    I wanna know who the guy was that was known for making people feel uncomfortable. I know, I’m missing the point. 😛

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