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Kill Your Phone



August 24, 2010 – Comments (6)

Is the line dead? A recent piece in Wired by Clive Thompson brings up the idea that the voice phone call may be in its dying days. I thought it was interesting to contemplate that we might all kill our phones (substituting, of course, things like text messaging, social networking, and so forth). Sounds like a major industry disruption to me...

6 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 24, 2010 at 5:25 PM, chk999 (99.96) wrote:

Wired had that famous cover and article "The Long Boom" right before the top. I wouldn't take it very seriously.

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#2) On August 24, 2010 at 5:30 PM, outoffocus (23.81) wrote:

Maybe I'm old fashioned but I think the role of technology taking the place of interpersonal human interaction will peak at some point.  Technology is viable as long as its convenient.  But I think its possible to innovate beyond convenience.  Text message are only convenient to the extent that the conversation doesn't exceed 300 characters or 10 or so text messages.  At that point, it would have been much faster and convenient to speak over the phone rather than typing out the conversation.

Techonology can only replace human productivity up until the point that the increased productivity doesn't degrade the customer experience.  For instance, we've automated telephone customer service so much that its actually an added perk if you call a company and speak directly to a person.

In this information age, we've innovated ourselves to the point where simplicity is virtue.  Therefore I do not see us depending on machines for all our communication in the not to distant future.  Of course I could be wrong.

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#3) On August 24, 2010 at 5:42 PM, TMFLomax (89.49) wrote:


True, Wired doesn't always get it right but I often enjoy a lot of its articles, like this one. 


True enough about the fact that at some point picking up the phone actually might be more efficient than texting; truth is it might be good to text the person to ask if they're busy and then call. Of course the automation of business phone communications actually probably spurs a heck of a lot of animosity towards phones in general too! Those robots can be annoying. ;) 

Thanks for the thoughts, I think this is all an interesting idea whether it comes to pass or not. Maybe part of why I found this topic really interesting is I think I have a fair amount of natural animosity towards unexpectedly ringing telephones for some reason, haha. (The Clive Thompson piece talked about "emotional bandwidth" and the inability to know what the other person is doing when one calls... I do think there's something to a lot of the thoughts he expressed.)

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#4) On August 27, 2010 at 10:38 AM, lemoneater (57.51) wrote:

I don't think that phones will ever be obsolete because of "It is so good to hear your voice, Dear." (Direct quote from my aunt.) Or "I'd rather place my order with a real person over the phone than web order." (Heard multiple times at my job.) Of course a call center will get calls from customers who prefer calling so my data is skewed.

However, I do like the convenience of email and texting throughout the day to keep in touch with my husband rather than calling and accidentally interrupting him in class or a meeting. Also e-mailing is a great way to keep in touch with my sister-in-law in Scotland who is several time zones away.

We can't forget this website which lives and moves and breathes as a non-invasive phone-free network.  



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#5) On August 27, 2010 at 3:07 PM, TMFLomax (89.49) wrote:


Thanks for the comment, and that's true, there are definitely times when "it is so good to hear your voice" is the beauty of the voice call. (I didn't tell my mom I joked in the article about wanting to beat a ringing phone with a hammer, haha... she LOVES voice calls.) But true, perhaps it will never become completely obsolete, but like you said, the other options certainly do allow us to keep in touch in a non-invasive way.

The breaking news about Google's Gmail calling is super interesting too. I saw a news article that said 1 million Gmail calls were made within 24 hours of the launch. WOW. Regardless, things are shifting, it seems.

Have a great weekend!

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#6) On September 02, 2010 at 8:09 AM, lemoneater (57.51) wrote:

Thanks for telling me about Google's Gmail calling. WOW, is right. I have Gmail for my non-work e-mail. I wonder if Skype should get worried. It would be interesting to know what the calling will be like a year from now. Google does have a way of breaking ground with giving people what they want.Google Earth changes the way Geography is taught as my husband observed.  

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