There is a misconception in the technology podcasting circuit that I would like to take issue with. That belief is that people generally no longer talk on the phone. I have heard this on tech podcasts countless times in recent years. Inevitably, a guest host will ask, “Who actually talks on the phone anymore?” They are trying to sell the incorrect assumption that in the era of modern smartphones, that those phones are not used for voice calls anymore. When the question is asked, virtually everyone on the panel agrees that people don’t engage in voice calling anymore at all.
That is absurd. Everybody talks on the phone. Yes. Even in 2017. I certainly do myself. I also see it happening around me all the time. All the time!
The hosts of these tech shows are so out of touch with reality that it has begun to irritate me. They spend most of their days surrounded by others in the field of technology — talking with journalists and other podcasters about the latest and greatest thing, and what is coming next. They live in a bubble without much interaction from “normal” consumers or users.
These tech folks also tend to live in or around Silicon Valley, or elsewhere in California. The state in which these podcasters live, I believe, plays into their thinking that people don’t talk on the phone anymore. I will explain.
In California (and many other states) it is illegal to drive while talking on the phone without using a hands-free device. People are ticketed for holding a phone up to their ear while driving down the road. Where I live, it is not illegal to do that. In fact, here it is so common to see people talking on the phone in their car that I see it happening in close to half of the cars around me at any given time. That’s not even an exaggeration!
When I’m driving to work at 7:30 in the morning, nearly half of the drivers in traffic are holding a phone up to their ear. Who are they talking to at 7AM? I’d like to know the answer to that. If anyone called me at that hour, I wouldn’t even answer. That aside, my point is that I see people around me every day that are talking on the phone, and not just in their cars. People in my office often sit outside and talk on their phones during lunch every day.
In the real world, most people are talking on their phones, at least to some degree.
Some of these tech journalists and podcasters need to get out of their echo chambers and talk to some real people sometime. Better yet, call one of them on the phone. I bet they will be more than happy to talk.