Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Busy signal

Honestly? I don't much miss phone calls, and this is a big part of why: "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."

1 comment:

Brian said...

Fascinating article... Just about the only person I talk to on the phone regularly anymore is my wife. With everyone else, it's strictly email, IM and SMS... or good-old-fashioned face-to-face conversations (people still do that?!?!?). Thompson is spot-on in his observation that phone calls are stressful and intrusive. I'm old enough to remember life before Caller ID and voicemail, and everyone jumping when the phone rang. Who could it be??? What could they want??? Maybe somebody died. Maybe it was the President!

Those days are surely over. But in an emergency situation -- where you need to get in touch with someone *right now* -- only voice will do. I can't imagine texting or emailing 911...