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The Call

Chris Farmer RSS / 26.02.2015. u 11:36

In the old days, we used to happy when the phone would ring.

In the old days, the phone was a fixed object in some corner of the house, usually next to a comfortable chair, so you could sit and chat with whoever was on the other side of the receiver. When the phone would ring, we usually knew who it might be - a friend, your Aunt Wendy, your sister in Chicago.

Or Bob.

But that was then. Today Bob never calls. You read his Facebook updates. You might occasionally exchange "likes," possibly the odd instant message chat. And in the end, you know pretty much what Bob has been doing and what he likes and what is happening around him. The same for your sister and Aunt Wendy. The virtual nature of our communications today means that we have the impression of talking to people all the time. We open some social media site with our morning coffee or tea and instantly know what our thousands of friends are doing. Especially the friends we never met.


But - shockingly - the phone does continue to ring. Today's phone is usually no more than a couple of feet away from us at all times, day or night, in the shower, in bed, in other incommodious circumstances. Today the ringing of the phone is not the event that it used to be. Today it is most often an interruption, and intrusion, and (often enough) an attack.

The attack comes in the form of telemarketers and company representatives. When I arrived in Serbia, telemarketing was not nearly as common as is it is getting to be today. When people called me to offer an exclusive offer, I would listen politely and respond. Today I am more likely to bark NO into the phone and hang up.

This is not because I hate telemarketers - I don't even know them; they are doing a job. But it is more because my phone is now a much more intimate instrument than it used to be. I mean, if I do not even talk to BOB anymore, why would I want an unknown entity intruding on my privacy to try to sell me something based on the position of my name on his list?

In the old days, when the phone rang it was like someone coming to the door. You hear it. You stop what you are doing and walk to the door or to the phone, and you engage the other person who has permitted himself to enter your space for a few moments.

As purveyors of information in the Information Age, have we grown intolerant of the means of communicating information? My phone, which is by no means Smart, does at least 17 things better than placing and receiving phone calls...

Is it trying to tell me something? I am not sure - I hung up.



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Komentari (5)

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rade.radumilo rade.radumilo 12:04 26.02.2015

The telephone will ring...

qqriq qqriq 12:45 26.02.2015

so very true, so well written

for the sake of an old old days..........

Jukie Jukie 15:20 26.02.2015


"I call from xy firm and we..."
"No, thank you, I am not interested."
"Are you above the age of 35?"
"And you are not interested in improving your health?"
"No, I am not. Goodbye."
rade.radumilo rade.radumilo 15:40 26.02.2015

Re: Yeah

I live in apartment that used to belong to a man that died quite a few years ago. Those advertisers still have an old Telekom database so the conversation goes sometimes like this:

- Is this mister Sava?
- No, he's not around anymore, he has residence on another address. Would you like his new address?
- Yes please.
- Please take a pen. Ready?
- Yes.
- Plot number ##, Central Cemetery, Belgrade. Got that?
- ...

Note: I know that all of those advertisers use an old Telekom DB, because in it my fathers name was misspelled in a peculiar way. Telekom later corrected it, but my parents get all of those calls, and mail to mister ... which existed only in the Telekom DB.
st.jepan st.jepan 23:00 26.02.2015


a l'télephon qui son...



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