More Telephony: No One Calls Anyone

In yesterday’s media, not only did we have a professor begging the university to cut landlines, but we had an alum lamenting the modern unreliability of telephones in general.  It seems like Wes is crazy about phones, in some way or another.  In a Cultural Studies article on the decline of the telephone call, author and past Daily Show guest Mary Roach ’81 has a few comments on the phenomenon:

Phone call appointments have become common in the workplace. Without them, there’s no guarantee your call will be returned. “Only people I’ve ruthlessly hounded call me back,” said Mary Roach, author of “Packing for Mars.” Writers and others who work alone can find the silence isolating. “But if I called my editor and agent every time I wanted to chat, I think they’d say, ‘Oh no, Mary Roach is calling again.’ So I’ve pulled back, just like everyone else.” […]

We may be returning to the phone’s original intentions — and impact. “I can tell you exactly the last time someone picked up the phone when I called,” Mary Roach said. “It was two months ago and I said: ‘Whoa! You answered your phone!’ It was a P.R. person. She said, ‘Yeah, I like to answer the phone.’ ” Both were startled to be voice-to-voice with another unknown, unseen human being.

Is anyone else so passionate about telephones? Share in the comments.


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