Is the telephone call dead?

We had a rather bizarre conversation last weekend, which made me ponder how long people will actual use telephone calls.

Basically, it was down to planning what was going to happen the next day, and who was meeting up where and co-ordinating luggage and people getting to the and from the right place at the right time to fly back to Sweden after spending much of the day in London.

Basically, various communications methods were discussed, including the "chat" on wordfeud. At one point it was suggested lending an iPad so they can use iMessage and Find my Friends.

It was after several minutes of discussion that finally the idea of actually phoning each other was considered. This was very much as a last resort. In fact, nobody knew each other's phone numbers as they had never had cause to use actual phone calls. We had emailed, imessaged, chatted in games, even facetime'd, but not actually used a phone call.

I'm glad to say that face to face talking is not dead yet, but phone calls seem to be on the way out. That said, it is a tad strange having a room full of people playing scrabble on iThings with each other while the TV is on. What is the world coming to?


  1. same in our family. kids don't phone each other to arrange lifts, they text or Facebook message. but always leads to chaos. my standard line is "why do nt you phone her to confirm?"

  2. I don't think you can quite do without it yet.. although I'd much rather have no number and have people email me, but people will insist on knowing my mobile phone number...

    The way internet access is still marketed as a 'bolt on to mobile phone plans suggests the majority are still using voice, too.

  3. The worst is, when it would be better to IM, I used to get phone calls... I even had one person often attempt to break off an IM session to phone me - that got highly annoying! IM is better in many ways, but there are times a phone call is the only thing that will do.

  4. Other problem with IM is there's still no widely used standard. XMPP works on everything but doesn't have many users. iMessage is apple devices only, BBM is blackberry devices only.. Then there's MSN, AOL, and about a thousand smartphone apps - all have their fans but they're all islands with no interoperability.

    Twitter and Facebook are universal but too public for serious chats.

    1. XMPP is as close as you can get to interoperability, if you can find good transports - but of course, you don't get all the "features" of the legacy IMs with it. Still, you get enough for the basic chat. I run XMPP and have transports to the IMs I'm still using - though that is slowly diminishing.

  5. I prefer email and IM to phone calls because I can type faster than I can speak most of the time, and I like the ability to go back and remove mistakes in written word which you of course you cannot do in spoken word.

    My older colleagues tend to be more comfortable on the phone. It may not be entirely about age but I think there's a bias there.

    It does seem that phone calls are becoming less and less relevant...which is somewhat troubling as that's the entire basis of my employer's business (and unlike A&A we're not an ISP, we *Only* do voice telecoms)


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