Phones (the voice-communication device kind, not the multi-purpose pocket computer type) are really a strange kind of concept to me. The phone can ring at any moment, it usually makes a very shrill, unsettling sound, and there is no availability indicator to the calling side (apart from "line is busy").

People expect to just be able to call one another out of the middle of nowhere. And the callee is expected to pick up, right? At least if they don't, the phone continues to make a very annoying sound for a very long period of time. (Of course, my smartphone can notify me in a less painful way, but still the stress of the urgent, time-limited notification remains.)

A notification even in the form of "I would like to speak to you in three minutes" would feel much less threatening to me.


Is this a generational thing? Am I too young to have internalized that this is the way we communicate in corporate hell? Does my parents' generation have phone sceptics like me (doubtful, since they had no real alternatives that were quite as quick)?

· · Web · 3 · 0 · 0

Or is it because I learned to read and write so early in my life (with 2 or 3 years) that I have a much stronger affinity to written communication than most?

@Xjs I think there were always people that didn't like phone calls. It's always been a tradeoff.
Mail can be too slow. Ringing at the door of your friends would increase the pressure on the other end to accept the call as your time investment is a lot higher.
And transferring information like "I'd like to talk to you in three minutes" would have been quite a lot more complicated than a simple ring tone.
Just call and if one side is busy, either don't respond or decide on a time to retry.

@Xjs I'm a bit older than you and I know that there are people like you the generation above you too. And you can teach people at work that they need to at least try to make a phone appointment with you by never answering your phone when someone calls unexpected (that's what I do). I then write to them and say I saw you called, what's going on? After some time (months/years) they get the memo ;)

Sign in to participate in the conversation – a Fediverse instance for & by the Chaos community