02:21 - Source: CNN
Attack reveals Sony's scandalous secrets

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Glenn Schwartz says he rarely phones any more. It's all about texting and emailing

He says Sony hack this week showed usefulness of talking in person, not digitally

Would it be possible to go back to that? Generation would have to learn to talk, he says

Schwartz: But it would free people to be frank again, like they can't be in texts, emails

Editor’s Note: Glenn Schwartz is president of Cyberlaff Inc., a Los Angeles-based entertainment public relations firm specializing in comedy and representing such clients as Lewis Black, Gilbert Gottfried and Fred Willard, among others. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

CNN  — 

I have been a publicist specializing in comedy for 30 years. Over the years I have transitioned like everyone else to strictly email and texting as my way of communicating with and on behalf of my clients. Whenever I feel nostalgic, I’ll call someone and hang up just to relive the bygone days of dialing.

Glenn Schwartz

Actually, I do call some people just to talk, but usually feel a sense of remorse and embarrassment as I dial. Sometimes I even apologize to the person on the other end, just for calling. Making a phone call is old school, and in a business where youth is a value, placing a phone call can be just as age revealing as having an AOL email account.

I even email people to ask them to call me rather than just calling; emailing someone to call you seems like less of an affront than picking up the phone.

This week, when Sony was hacked and provocative and embarrassing emails were leaked, it occurred to me that this could be the best thing to happen to our generation of conversation-challenged people. If sending a colorful, conversational or nasty email becomes a danger, then perhaps we will all have to start talking again.

If a Sony executive thought to voice his or her opinions in conversation, the damage would have been zero. After all, hearsay and he-said-she-said is still contained only in the ether after it is said.

What’s more, it’s impossible to write “tone” in an email and personality is usually conveyed only “in person,” even if on the phone. Imagine if from this point forward when you have something nasty, politically incorrect, or – dare I say – funny to convey, you will be forced to speak it, so as not to have your impulse, thoughts or ideas digitally documented for all to see for all time.

A crazy idea, I know. And it’s going take a while to assemble a generation and get them talking again, but maybe this time we can thank the North Koreans or whomever for doing something good, and not just torturing people.

Oh wait, did I just write that? Call me.

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