Remember the days before phones were so damn portable? Remember the phone call? The real ones, the long ones. All those hours spent sitting, receiver to the face, talking away our demons into the curved plastic, twirling the chord with the left hand. We now live in a world where we’re attached to those little boxes called cells, where every incoming text, email, vibration, or chirp of a ring further muddles the memories of our unplugged past.
Check out this thoughtful and succinct take on The Death of the Phone Call from Wired’s Clive Thompson. He pays respect to the fading behavior while making a good case for a redesign of the phone call itself. He asserts the ‘constant lightweight contact’ we’re all engulfed by is contributing to the Phone Call’s death, which are emotionally more high-bandwidth. You may have noticed.
But does the phone call really deserve to die, as Mr. Thompson claims? It may be ill. Very ill. But there’s still time for it to be turned around. There’s part of me — part of most of us I’m sure — that still loves the call. That moment of excitement upon hearing the ring — not knowing who or what the other end will bring. The Phone Call still has its moments, given the right time, the right place, the right voice on the other line. But if it does go, R.I.P. phone call. You’ve had a glorious run.
(Note: The Wired article is over a year old. But sometimes magazines fall behind the couch. Sometimes they are discovered and read some 15 months later. And sometimes, even in the rapidly-changing world of consumer technology, articles age well. It happens.)