Monday Buzz: Why Americans Stopped Answering the Phone

There are lots of different ways to communicate with people that don’t require a phone call, but that’s not the only reason we don’t pick up when the phone rings. Also: creative ways to use AR and VR to get people involved.

Are you finding it harder and harder to get anyone on the phone? You’re not alone. Not answering the phone used to be unthinkable, but these days the phone-answering habit is disappearing from American life.

The proliferation of communication channels has a lot to do with this. “You’ve got your Twitter, your Facebook, your work Slack, your email, FaceTimes incoming from family members,” writes Alexis C. Madrigal in a recent article for The Atlantic. “So many little dings have begun to make the rings obsolete.”

But text channels aren’t the only reason phone-answering has declined. Madrigal says you can put some of the blame on telemarketing calls, especially automated ones. “There are straight-up robocalls that merely deliver recorded messages,” he says. “There are the cyborg telemarketers, who sit in call centers playing prerecorded bits of audio to simulate a conversation.”

And, despite efforts from the FCC, there are no signs that these calls are decreasing.

AR/VR in Use

Has your organization tapped into augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) yet?

SocialFish shares a bunch of inspiring ways you can use this technology to further your mission.

Take the National Health Services for England and Wales. To encourage blood donations, the NHS put up video billboards showing sick patients in need of blood donations. Passersby were given stickers to put on their arm, and when they viewed it through their smartphone, it showed them donating blood. As more people use the stickers, the patient begins to look healthier and personally thanks donors as well.

Other Links of Note

Make the most of your attendee name tags. Event Marketer shares three wearable smart badges that may help to boost engagement.

Do you base salary offers on past salary history? Nonprofit AF makes a strong case for stopping that practice.

If you’re hitting the road this summer on business, check out these tips for traveling smarter from Entrepreneur.

(turk_stock_photographer/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Raegan Johnson

By Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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