Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Making The Call

Time was when getting a phone call was a major event in the household - it made the callee somewhat of a celebrity. That was in the dark ages. Now you don't want to get off the couch to even check the caller-id let alone answer the phone. Check out the caller id on the TV screen and "You don't have to even get up to see if it's worth pausing the TiVo to answer the phone or not,".

That sounds like unsocial if not anti-social technology. Short of the caller being a pesky telemarketeer, you ignore a potential hour of conversation with a real human being who has taken the trouble to take time off their schedule to call you, in favor of remaining a torpid couch potato. Apparently, such technology is enabling us mind our manners better or so its purveyors would have us believe.

Etiquette is a major motive for shifting caller ID off the phone, said Bill Geiser, vice president of watch technology for Fossil. He recalls using his Bluetooth-enabled watch during a recent meeting in which participants were told to turn off cell phones and PDAs. Geiser kept track of incoming calls through his wristwatch, which made it easier for him to figure out who to call back during breaks.

Not sure why sneaking peeks at a watch is superior to sneaking peeks at a regular cellphone or why there would be less social stigma attached to the former.

"The whole concept of the social stigma associated with using your phone in public is something that's getting increasing notice," he said. "The idea behind this watch was for someone who wants to stay connected, to give them a very discreet way to do it."

Is staying connected 24/7 really all that important ?


SFGary said...

There's absolutely no reason to be connected all the time. It gives my family the fits when I don't return calls right away even ones made to my mobile. One constant refrain seems to be the famous "what if (fill in various bad news)." People get huffy when I point out there's not a whole lot I can do in a med emergency, call 911.

Heartcrossings said...

SFG - Totally agree about the emergencies. I turn off the ringers on my phones at night. I'd much rather get my shut eye than be woken up for up to the minute bad news. Clearly, not a sentiment that the family would appreciate.