Art by Sam Lessin.
Modest Proposals

Personal Voice Analysis for the New Year

Photo: Art by Sam Lessin.

In the past several years I have participated in the chorus of people railing against phone calls. People dislike them because they aren’t asynchronous, and they don’t allow for the depth of in-person exchanges.

So I decided to run some analysis of my phone calling behavior over the last 14 months (the longest period of call records I could pull from AT&T). I found a series of patterns that lead me to three conclusions: (1) Phones are no longer social devices. The days of calling friends and gabbing are clearly over. (2) Phones are, however, still a major vector of business communication—though it is unclear how long that will last. (3) Speaking to family or your inner circle on the phone still matters. So, perhaps there is a future for voice if the experience of calling can be improved.

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