Phone calls are making a comeback as people crave human connection during pandemic

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,193   +120
Staff member

With millions now adhering to stay-at-home measures to combat the spread of Covid-19, the impact of isolation is starting to take its toll on the human psyche. We are social creatures at heart and for most that aren’t already used to being alone, it can be a lot to deal with.

So, we reach out to make some sort of human connection using a forgotten tool – the trusty ole telephone.

Verizon is juggling an average of 800 million wireless phone calls per day during weekdays which is more than twice as many as it normally fields on Mother’s Day, historically one of the busiest days for phone calls each year. AT&T said its mobile call volume is up 35 percent as of late and that Wi-Fi calling had nearly doubled.

Chris Sambar, AT&T’s executive vice president of technology and operations, said the surge in voice calls is both for business and personal use. Before the pandemic, wireless calls would spike in the morning and during rush hours in the evening but would level off once people got to work and school. Now, call volume is high throughout the day.

Verizon said the length of voice calls has also extended with folks talking for about 33 percent longer on average.

Similar trends are also being observed with regard to Internet-connected devices as people are increasingly dusting off their old desktops to use while stuck at home.

Masthead credit: Kzenon, Klepach

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 2,669   +2,305
I've heard it said that when something happens to you, you know who cares about you most when you wake up in the hospital and see who's there in front of you.

During this crisis, everyone's priorities have been rearranged.

#1 I've gotten calls from old acquaintances who I haven't talked to in months or years because they dropped off my radar or I dropped off theirs.

#2 Old girlfriends calling me up asking for financial help - which 'm sure a lot of you have gotten too.

#3 family members I haven't spoken to in a very long time suddenly "have time" to talk to me.

#4 Car dealers who've sold to me/my business and want to try and move product while their stores are in recession.

#5 Bankers offering me products and account changes.

#6 Scam artists.

#7 Indian Solar Panel installers.

List goes on and on.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 2,669   +2,305
Surely the only people getting those calls are those that decided to "stay friends" after breaking up.
"the ones who just decided to see other people".

And once she realized she couldn't make it on her own and Coronavirus laid her off...all the sudden, I get a call.

I told her not to quit that job.
I told her to just ride it out.
She had better ideas.
Now she's broke.
Not my problem.
 
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ShagnWagn

Posts: 1,290   +1,071
I've heard it said that when something happens to you, you know who cares about you most when you wake up in the hospital and see who's there in front of you.

During this crisis, everyone's priorities have been rearranged.

#3 family members I haven't spoken to in a very long time suddenly "have time" to talk to me.
With [most?] people now not having to uselessly sit in traffic, we have more personal time during the day to get chores done. This also allows more free time to contact others. Driving to do something you could do remotely is a total waste of resources. Hopefully employers' eyes wake up and realize this. It's also a huge cost savings as now they don't need as much office space to pay for. I'm not saying everyone 100% WFH because that face-to-face communication is irreplaceable.
 

Underdog

Posts: 142   +73
We should be seeing a reduction in injury statistics from people walking into lamp posts while staring zombie-like into their phones, and car crashes caused by texting when they should be paying attention to the road ahead.
There's always a silver lining if you know where to look.
 
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psycros

Posts: 3,089   +3,148
With [most?] people now not having to uselessly sit in traffic, we have more personal time during the day to get chores done. This also allows more free time to contact others. Driving to do something you could do remotely is a total waste of resources. Hopefully employers' eyes wake up and realize this. It's also a huge cost savings as now they don't need as much office space to pay for. I'm not saying everyone 100% WFH because that face-to-face communication is irreplaceable.
Not to mention that it means employers will start insisting you have a webcam turned on all the time so they can keep an eye on you. F that.
 

ShagnWagn

Posts: 1,290   +1,071
Not to mention that it means employers will start insisting you have a webcam turned on all the time so they can keep an eye on you. F that.
Possibly. but not necessary if they have any kind of management software on your computer (like SCCM). They can remotely view your desktop without you even knowing. They've been able to do this for decades.

This also means they can turn your camera/mic on/off at will. It's already like this if they have video cameras at the office. This is a bit different as it's invasion into the privacy of your home. Simply put tape over the camera and microphone.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 849   +351
Its not a invasion of privacy if you chose to work at home as you are still under corparate policies. You chose that not the other way around. Now I am not talking about the current situation but afterwards.
 

Yynxs

Posts: 544   +183
TechSpot Elite
Perhaps some of the childless managers or ones who see their kids only two hours a day after daycare and before bed, will get an idea what the married with children people are going through, especially trying to work from home with children about.