Phone Etiquette 2.0

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  1. Luke said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 10:33 am

    Reminds me of this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/fashion/20Cultural.html

    because both versions of Phone Etiquette 2.0 are cross-cultural experiences for me (30 y.o. male from flyover country).

  2. Barrett said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 11:14 am

    I've always disliked talking on the phone. I found it awkward talking to someone without seeing a face. But I've always been comfortable with emailing. The phone is the newer and stranger technology still! Writing to each other is old school ;)

  3. Leonardo Boiko said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 11:17 am

    Phone etiquette 3.0: please don’t phone me, send an email.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_phobia

    [(myl) Apparently you're an old fogey like me -- the teens that I know now are almost as reluctant to do email as to talk on the phone.]

  4. John Cowan said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

    Phone calls are still essential as a substitute for face-to-face meetings, though. We are not at a point where we can do without immediate multi-way interaction in meetings. I spend perhaps 30% of my working day on the phone, because members of my department are scattered from New York City to Seattle.

  5. Martin J Ball said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

    Viva Skype with camera!

  6. richard howland-bolton said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

    @ Martin Hear! Hear!!

    (those other guys are all SO late-twentieth century)

  7. Toma said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

    (those other guys are all SO late-twentieth century)

    Never mind that–they're so 2000-2009

  8. Carl said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

    "Oh that was you?"

    That line makes no sense. All cell phones have caller ID nowadays.

  9. wally said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

    "All cell phones have caller ID nowadays."

    Unfortunately, you have to look at it for it to be effective.

    (I am the father of teens!)

  10. Mark Etherton said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

    "late-twentieth century"? Some decades out.

    "Father Brown was delighted to hear the voice of his old friend, even on the telephone; but in a general way, and especially at that particular moment, Father Brown was not very fond of the telephone. He was one who preferred to watch people’s faces and feel social atmospheres, and he knew well that without these things, verbal messages are apt to be very misleading, especially from total strangers."

    The Scandal of Father Brown, Chapter VIII: The Point of a Pin, 1935

  11. Mr Fnortner said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

    Seem to be a few nouveaux Luddites here. Such distaste for the telephone, I'm looking forward to someone proclaiming they have no TV.

    In our house, the caller ID flashes on the TV screen. Very convenient, and we don't answer it if we don't care to. Jeremy, of course, either has his phone in his pocket or doesn't interrupt his texting to learn the caller. By default, he remains oblivious of the caller's identity. Probably prevents distractions, saves a little guilt, and provides substantial liberty. The joy of the entire comic strip series is the exploration of the myriad ways a fifteen year old can frustrate his parents.

  12. Xmun said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

    I'll put my hand up. I thoroughly dislike the TV, and never have it on when my wife is out of the house. But I must confess, we both do enjoy watching operas on TV . There's a much wider range available than we can expect to see performed live in Wellington.

  13. megan said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

    The "embiggen" mouseover is a nice touch.

  14. Nelida said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

    @Martin, Richard and Toma: Absolutely!! Triple Hear!!!

  15. Rod Johnson said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

    I get calls all the time with just a number and no identified caller. If I don't recognize the number, I have no idea. Worse, at the university where I teach, caller ID is masked so that all calls appear to come from the same number. I can't tell if any given call is coming from my wife, my boss, a student in the dorm or the president of the university.

  16. The Ridger said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

    Either Jeremy's mom has her number masked (I too get plenty of calls from "Anonymous", "Not Available", and "Private Name, Private Number". I let the machine get them. They never leave messages …) or else Jeremy hasn't put her into his phone and doesn't know the number.

    "I rarely answer the phone. There's usually someone wanting to talk on the other end." – Fred Couples

    Plus, remember the old days when you had to "trace" a call – all the cop shows where they keep saying "Keep them on the line at least three minutes!" My grandniece doesn't get it; phones know the other number before you answer, don't they?

  17. tudza said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

    This is plain silly. My mom calls and my phone generates a message "Missed call from Mom". I'd say this counts as a text message.

  18. Rachel said,

    April 22, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

    Mr Fnortner said: "Such distaste for the telephone, I'm looking forward to someone proclaiming they have no TV."

    Me! No TV or cellphone. (I do use my landline considerably, though. And I have an iPod Touch, so I'm an inconsistent Luddite.)

    (For age reference, I'm in my late 20s.)

  19. Joyce Melton said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 3:17 am

    No TV. My computers take up way too much of my time for a non-interactive machine to compete.

  20. Margaret L said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 9:10 am

    I think part of why younger people are abandoning phone calls is BECAUSE they use cell phones. There's that annoying delay that disrupts the natural flow of conversation. It's hard work, talking on a cell phone.

  21. Ellen K. said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

    @Tudza: On my phone, messages about who called are quite separate from text messages. If I've gotten a text message, or another call, after the phone call, then I don't see who called unless I specifically go look at my call history. I certainly won't see who called by looking at text messages.

    @Margaret L: I've never noticed a delay, and do not find talking on a cell phone hard work. The only difference between a cell phone and a land line I notice is, on a cell phone, the background noise disappearing when the other person isn't talking.

    Which I guess you could summarize the above with, cell phone vary, and people who use cell phone vary.

  22. Paul Terry Hunt said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

    Another TV-less lurker here! Never owned one; haven't lived in a household with one in the last 30 years (and thus aren't liable for the not-trivial UK TV licence fee); always been afraid of being sucked into wasting good reading time watching trash as well as the small proportion of worthwhile programmes. Now that I have broadband and can watch post-broadcast recordings online (legally), even the worthwhile ones (for debatable values of worthwhile) are beginning to eat into my day excessively.
    I've also always avoided a getting a mobile phone, disliking the potential for intrusion into the relative solitude of out-of-house periods. I suspect that there are more people like Xmun, Rachel, Joyce Melton and I than are acknowledged, a silent backlash against Society's increasing unwelcome over-intrusion and trivia sousing. Maybe that's neo-Luddism, but the original Luddites had valid motivations from their point of view.

  23. Paul Terry Hunt said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

    Another TV-less lurker here! Never owned one; haven't lived in a household with one in the last 30 years (and thus aren't liable for the not-trivial UK TV licence fee); always been afraid of being sucked into wasting good reading time watching trash as well as the small proportion of worthwhile programmes. Now that I have broadband and can watch post-broadcast recordings online (legally), even the worthwhile ones (for debatable values of worthwhile) are beginning to eat into my day excessively.

    I've also always avoided a getting a mobile phone, disliking the potential for intrusion into the relative solitude of out-of-house periods. I suspect that there are more people like Xmun, Rachel, Joyce Melton and I than are acknowledged, a silent backlash against Society's increasing unwelcome over-intrusion and trivia sousing. Maybe that's neo-Luddism, but the original Luddites had valid motivations from their point of view.

  24. Paul Terry Hunt said,

    April 23, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

    Oops! – you may wish to delete the first comment.

  25. J. Goard said,

    April 24, 2011 @ 9:42 am

    As Tudza said, Jeremy's procedure is ridiculous. Typing out words to express your desire to have a spoken conversation, if convenient? That is accompolished by pressing a single button.

    More reasonable ettiquette is to call, not expect a pickup, and then expect a response call after a few minutes, once the other person has had time to get to a quiet place, finish a text conversation with someone else, etc.

  26. Mark Dunan said,

    April 24, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

    Hate cell phones, hate TV even more. How can people sit in front of a TV and just watch what's happening, unable to interact with it at all? Give me a video game to play if I'm going to sit in front of a screen.

    As for phones, I hate getting calls because you have to interrupt whatever you're doing so that you can take the call, unlike with e-mail where you can respond immediately or a minute later or an hour later and it's no big deal. Much less stressful that way. Plus, there's no risk of not hearing what the other person is saying and having to ask them to repeat it. (Provided they type in normal, non-txtspk language, that is.)

    Now when I give out contact details, my mobile e-mail address is written first, then my regular e-mail, then the phone number last. If I could get even a 10% discount on my phone bill, I'd eliminate the ability to do voice calls and have it be a mobile internet device only.

    (Over 30 BTW.)

  27. chris said,

    April 25, 2011 @ 8:46 am

    As for phones, I hate getting calls because you have to interrupt whatever you're doing so that you can take the call, unlike with e-mail where you can respond immediately or a minute later or an hour later and it's no big deal.

    I agree. Phones have their uses but calling someone is tantamount to saying that your agenda for what you want them to be doing (talking to you) is more important than *their* agenda for what *they* want to be doing. That's a seriously rude thing to believe outside of an emergency (although unsurprising from a parent).

    And that's aside from the main reason for not answering the phone all the time — telemarketers and robocalls. Junk e-mail is easier and less time-consuming to deal with, even when there's more of it.

  28. Dakota said,

    April 25, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

    In some parts of the world at least, texting is either free, provided with prepaid service, or much cheaper than voice calls. A basic Blackberry account here in Saudi costs 100 SAR or about $25 a month for unlimited texting. On my prepaid phone, opening a text message costs me about fifty cents, voice calls are timed and start around a dollar a minute.

  29. John Burgess said,

    April 26, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

    My 25-y/o son confirms that the priority of communications means is 1) text messaging, 2) missed call message on a cell phone, 3) e-mail.

    Voice mail is not listened to, so it's useless to leave anything. He notes that in offices, voice mail tends to be ignored by his peers.

    His cell identifies the caller and that's all he needs. He'll return the call when/if he wants. He has no land line. He has no TV. Streaming videos suffice to catch things after the fact (via, for instance, HULU) or friends who will live stream TV/cable broadcasts from the East Coast to him on the West Coast.

  30. Phone Etiquette 2.0 | 4orty2wo said,

    April 28, 2011 @ 4:00 am

    [...] Language Log » Phone Etiquette 2.0. [...]

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