LONG AGO, a ringing telephone signified that something was about to change. Be it good or bad, there was always a surprise at the other end of the line. Just that one simple thing made everyday life more exciting. I can still recall, when I was finally old enough to be permitted to answer the phone at our house, feeling quite grown up and important. “I’ll get it!” was just about my favorite thing to say.
Flash forward to now. An article in USA Today details cell-phone etiquette in these times. First of all, you must never call anyone without texting them first to see if they are in the right frame of mind to talk; if you do you are clearly an insensitive boor. As for landlines, which still exist in many homes, usually those inhabited by dinosaurs or rural folks who want the local emergency squad to be able to find them —I fall into both categories — the truly paranoid Caller ID function has removed all romance from the ring.
Now that you can see upfront who’s calling, and it’s likely to be someone or something you don’t want to talk to, those unexpected chance encounters never happen. Like just now as I was writing this, a call came from my good buddy, MEDICAL SUPPLY. I did not answer. But what if I had?
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.