Monday, August 09, 2010

The Death of the Phone Call

The Death of the Phone Call... An excerpt:
This generation doesn’t make phone calls, because everyone is in constant, lightweight contact in so many other ways: texting, chatting, and social-network messaging. And we don’t just have more options than we used to. We have better ones: These new forms of communication have exposed the fact that the voice call is badly designed. It deserves to die. 
Consider: If I suddenly decide I want to dial you up, I have no way of knowing whether you’re busy, and you have no idea why I’m calling. We have to open Schrödinger’s box every time, having a conversation to figure out whether it’s OK to have a conversation. Plus, voice calls are emotionally high-bandwidth, which is why it’s so weirdly exhausting to be interrupted by one. (We apparently find voicemail even more excruciating: Studies show that more than a fifth of all voice messages are never listened to.) 
The telephone, in other words, doesn’t provide any information about status, so we are constantly interrupting one another. The other tools at our disposal are more polite. Instant messaging lets us detect whether our friends are busy without our bugging them, and texting lets us ping one another asynchronously. (Plus, we can spend more time thinking about what we want to say.) For all the hue and cry about becoming an “always on” society, we’re actually moving away from the demand that everyone be available immediately.
Read the rest.

(HT:  Justin Buzzard)


the sife said...

terrible logic, imo.

Brad said...


did we lament the 'death of the face to face conversation' with the advent of pen and paper?

or of the hand written note, with type?

and written note, with the telephone?

(see the declension?)

Unknown said...

This is great! I've always thought this. I hate talking on the phone for a variety of reasons, if a conversation that a text, instant message, facebook or email isn't appropriate for needs to take place, I'd rather just interact face to face over coffee or a beer.