Tethered to the phone hanging on the wall, we forfeited our anonymity to the unknown stranger.
Every call felt like a cold call, with no indication of who was on the other line. Yet it felt surprisingly safe to answer even if it was a telemarketer. “No thanks, we’re eating dinner. Please call back later.” Hang up.
Now we expect every phone call to be preceded by a text, even if it’s our closest friends and family members. And we’re sure as hell never going to answer an unknown number because chances are it’s a Chinese spammer.
With screen time the default, if we’re going to answer the phone to take us away from whatever else we’re doing — emailing, texting, scrolling Instagram — there better be someone we know or think we know on the other line.