We invented the telephone out of the desire to communicate. We developed the internet to increase connectivity and expand our reach. Thomas Friedman summed up the borderless Earth by writing The World Is Flat.
The facilitation of immediacy through text and social media killed the telephone ring. According to a recent Atlantic article from Alexis Madrigal:
“No one picks up the phone anymore. Even many businesses do everything they can to avoid picking up the phone. Of the 50 or so calls I received in the last month, I might have picked up four or five times. The reflex of answering—built so deeply into people who grew up in 20th-century telephonic culture—is gone.”
What novelty or variety of internet tools will we see next?
The infusion of bots and AI-driven conversations further complicate the human will to communicate.
Whether it’s Siri or Alexa, the urge to chat means anyone or anything that responds will be on-demand. No one will place calls unless they can guarantee a receiver on the other end.
The cell phone ring follows in the footsteps of ringtones, not dead but annoying. With mindfulness on the verge, push messages may be next to be silenced while snail mail and email inboxes will continue to go unread.