Books

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 Schrรถdinger'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: Vitamin Z

2 comments:

cgl said...

This post (from the original author) seems a bit biased. It seems as though he is intentionally leaving out the cons on his side of the argument. I can think of a lot of reasons texting is sub-optimal compared to the telephone

Brian G. Hedges said...

You're right, of course. But I thought it was interesting because I more often see articles on the dangers and detriments of technology. And I can relate to the angst the author feels about making phone calls. Maybe we're both introverts?!