As a kid it was the most normal, everyday thing that the phone at home rang, you had no idea who called, you just picked it up and said "Hello?".

Today when the phone rings:

"WHAT?! How? Who? Why? I've never seen this number, I'm not gonna pick it up!"

@fribbledom a week or two ago my mobile rang and the caller id said it was from Bulgaria.

How the shit they got the number IDK.

I hate phones.

@fribbledom Rename every contact to "Scam Likely" and remove the picture. Should simulate the effect.

@penguin42 @fribbledom

until the late 1990s it cost a fair bit of money to telephone someone (nowadays many calls are free) and it was also more difficult to do large financial transactions outside a bank or without a cheque book and guarantee card; so there was no gain in phishing..

@fribbledom Back then people called to talk. Now they call because they want something :(
@fribbledom only in rare fringe cases do I use my phone for actual phone calls. 😆​

@fribbledom We had an answering machine pretty early on. Then every message was "Hello? I know you're screening, pick up!" … And I never would.

Same for me. I find calling rude. When you call someone you are basucally saying: Stop whatevery you are doing and give me your attention right now!

That can of course be justified if you need help or advice on the spot.

@Mopsi @fribbledom Some 25 years ago, there weren't that many ways to contact someone, so it was reasonable to put up with this.

But I think that we are way past the need for unsolicited, non-emergency voice calls.

I mean, when phones appeared they were the less intrusive alternative to showing up at someone's house in person.

@Mopsi @fribbledom I tried to plot the effectiveness and intrusiveness of different communication methods based on my subjective feeling.

It still makes sense to make phone calls, but only if high effectiveness is needed.

Snail mail is not Pareto optimal since it's more intrusive and less effective than e-mail.

@js0000 I was going to give a similar response: "as a kid, robo-calls were never a thing." (cc: @fribbledom)

@fribbledom i remember racing with my little brother to get to be the one to pick-up! :akirbyrun: :akirbyrun:
I've always thought it was curious how a company can install a fire alarm in your house to make you rush to use their product. Ring ring cha-ching! It's different now with smart phones i guess.

@fribbledom You forgot one variable that had a major impact on everyone's behavior; robo-calls and people who are paid to act as sales agents day and night.


Certainly not forgetting that, even though that's far less of a problem where I currently am: happens about twice a year.

I guess voice communication has simply become the exception by now. I'd rather text, even when the other person is a close friend or family. It's asynchronous, people get to respond when it suits them, not the caller.

@fribbledom Other explanation: I use voice a lot, but I don't use a phone anymore to do voice - or at least not the regular phone service, but Voice over IP no matter what device it's on. Most people who do voice communication do too.

@fribbledom In effect the only people still using regular phone lines are more likely to be spammers than not.

@boilingsteam @fribbledom also Idk if it's just me but I feel like mobile phone connections have become so bad in the last couple years. Sometimes I just can't make a call. Sometimes I can, but I get sound artifacts painfully screeching into my ear. Sometimes it works okay for a while, but gets worse and worse as the call continues. It's so annoying

@fribbledom Yeah, and it seems to be a courtesy to text / otherwise message someone to ask permission for a voice call. This new social custom makes no sense to me. Uh, don't ask to call, just call. Either I'll answer, or I won't.

I don't like the normal phone because of the many companies exploiting it. If I see a number outside of my country I put it on block list. It is always a spam call.

@fribbledom I used to call my friends and talk for hours, but now all I get are scam calls from UK numbers and promo calls from my ISP.

@fribbledom can't even count the number of times, I had to run 4 storeys up (especially the last 2) to my childhood apartment, as the loud ring was heard. Run up, open 3 gates to enter the house and make a dive for the receiver.
Also I think spam calls were not that lucrative or cheap with high returns back then. obviously there were the unavoidable relatives


My parents had caller ID when I was a teen. Having a little screen that showed the caller’s number and name was pretty amazing.

Then as a young adult and I got a cell phone, I simply couldn’t understand why a cell phone’s caller ID only showed the number and not the name (I still don’t).

So for me, I was moving from more transparency to less.



I'm a little sad that there isn't more talk of standing-up private phone systems. With asterisk + internet, sip phones & sip soft-phone clients for computers and smart phones, and fairly easy federation, it's mostly feasible to make sure that when a phone rings, it's worth your while.

Maybe to retro at this point for folks without enough grey hair. 🤷

@fribbledom These days I only answer the phone for immediate family members. Even work people know that they should use asynchronous communication to get in touch with me.

@fribbledom I love voice mail for this reason. Even if I recognize the number... sometimes I just let it go to voice mail anyway. 😆

I'm always busy, so weirdly if I even answer a call, it's usually on my watch.

@fribbledom As an 80's kid, phone calls interfered with my calls to BBS's. I was already dealing with 300baud modem on a Commodore 64, as it was. Soured me on the telephone for the rest of my life.

@fribbledom For a while, when we lived in Hillsboro OR in my childhood, we had almost the same number as the local Power Rents (heavy machinery rental outfit). It got to the point where in the evenings I'd answer the phone going "this is not Power Rents, please redial their number carefully."

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