I answered the phone for the first time when I was three. I picked up the handset and said, "Yeah?" in that tone of voice teenagers use when they are incredibly put-off that someone would interrupt their business. In my case, that business would have been watching Sesame Street or eating cheerios, but business none the less.

My mother, who was standing in the same room, was at once horrified and bewildered. Horrified because her three year old had just answered the phone with "yeah?", and bewildered because her three year old had learned "yeah?" was an acceptable greeting. Consequently, I had my first lesson in phone etiquette.

At the Apple Store several weeks ago, I saw a two year old with an iPhone. Not his parents' iPhone. His iPhone. And as an aside, I thought for a moment that that kid probably was better at using his iPhone than I was. Except I don't frequently use said iPhone as a teether.

But I had no doubt that someday soon this child would answer his iPhone with a bored "yeah?" I know this because 1) it's easy for a child to accidentally answer an iPhone without knowing it and 2) with the advent of cell phones, we know who is calling.

We can greet someone by name when we answer. We can choose not to answer when we don't know who is calling. We have the opportunity to base the type of greeting on the caller. So, little dude, why not answer "Yeah?" when your mother calls and interrupts your Wheels on the Bus app?


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