Why Americans Stopped Answering the Phone
The proliferation of communication channels has a lot to do with this
Are you finding it harder and harder to get anyone on the phone? You’re not alone. Not answering the phone used to be unthinkable, but these days the phone-answering habit is disappearing from American life.
The proliferation of communication channels has a lot to do with this. “You’ve got your Twitter, your Facebook, your work Slack, your email, FaceTimes incoming from family members,” writes Alexis C. Madrigal in a recent article for The Atlantic. “So many little dings have begun to make the rings obsolete.”
But text channels aren’t the only reason phone-answering has declined. Madrigal says you can put some of the blame on telemarketing calls, especially automated ones. “There are straight-up robocalls that merely deliver recorded messages,” he says. “There are the cyborg telemarketers, who sit in call centers playing prerecorded bits of audio to simulate a conversation.”
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