Why would anyone answer his phone just because it happened to ring?

Humanity has not yet adjusted to current phone technology.

If you have an answering machine, you gain NOTHING by answering a phone just because it happens to ring. You can screen the call with your machine, and then answer the phone if you want to deal with the caller and his issue now.

I'm sure that in a few years almost everyone will do this. Employing this technique, there is little or no need for Caller ID. One is immune from telephone salespeople. There is no negative. Nothing is lost.

I would even suggest that your answering machine's outgoing message be something like:

"Thanks for calling, messages for Joe Blow can be left at the tone, this phone is ALWAYS answered by this machine."

With such a message, you're being honest about what is going on, and letting telemarketers know that it is hopeless for them. If enough people did this, the telemarketing industry might disappear.

(I'd sure love such a perfect a solution to junk email, and the solution to junk snail mail requires calling just about everyone, since the United States lags so far behind much of Europe in privacy protections, with a current administration which would outlaw privacy totally if it could.)

On the subject of phones, I'd also like to point out some other things:

  • Have you ever noticed that the smarter someone is, the greater his tendency to leave effective phone messages, as opposed to "please call me, I have a question". Just leave the question in the voice mail! In fact, two intelligent people can go through complex problem solving sessions simply through voice mail.

  • It would be nice if the Caller could push a button indicating that he wanted to leave a message, but did not want to speak with anyone. The recipient's phone machine (or voice mail) would take the message, but no ringing would occur.

  • I hate it when I want to leave someone a descriptive message, and the place I'm on the line with does not have voice mail. It is slow and prone to mistakes to dictate detail to a human secretary.

  • I'd like to see technology where, if forced to wait (put on hold) when I call some number, I'd be given an option that allowed me to set down the phone and leave the room. When someone could finally speak with me, a tone would go off on my receiver. This tone would double in volume every two or three seconds, so that I'd neither get my ear destroyed, nor have to be nearby.

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