Why no one answers their phone
The phone company uses the term “land-line” to indicate an actual copper wire line going into the home to provide telephone service. Most of the world’s phones today are wireless. They communicate via land based towers without any connecting wires. This change in technology from land-line to wireless has created an amazing change in our culture as well.
In a cleverly written article, Alex Madrigal answers the question, Why no one answers their phone anymore. When the telephone first entered the home, it was a great curiosity. Every time the phone rang there was an urgency to answer. Who could be calling? “Answer quickly! They may hang up.” A phone call disrupted the best of routines.
Then calls began to come whose only intent was to sell – whether or not you had need or interest or means. A wariness crept into the phone culture. My father, a very busy man during his life, did not allow anyone to answer the family phone during dinner. But there was a new culture coming. The culture of SPAM.
Madrigal says, “Not picking up the phone would be like someone knocking at your door and you standing behind it not answering. It was, at the very least, rude, and quite possibly sneaky or creepy or something.” Spammers took advantage of that natural politeness, the effort to extend a welcome. They called at all hours regularly. And still do. Eventually, the culture of the phone turned from wariness to death. Pushing the death of the home phone was the advent of the cell phone.
It’s been so long ago, I don’t even remember when I got rid of my home land-line. Seems it was at least 15 years ago. The cell phone quickly became ubiquitous. It was convenient to be able to receive calls away from home; or to call to find out where we were supposed to meet; or to say I’d be home late. Or whatever. Then came the smart phone.
With the smart phone one could block SPAM calls. And there were so many other means of communicating. Making an actual call gave way to a simple text message (SMS) or maybe a quick email. I don’t even agonize over trying to thumb-text my messages. I simply speak to my phone and it gets the message!
The rapid change of technology has brought about a change in culture. The phone at home is disappearing. If it’s still in the home, it is rarely used. The death of the old technology has come about by the birth of the new technology. The smartphone is not without its benefits and disadvantages. Seeking to go back to a less intrusive time, some have opted for a “dumbphone.”
More changes await! Changes to technology and to our culture. Ready or not.