I mourn the family phone. It has, for us, become a warehouse for imposters and deceivers.

We still have a landline. Can’t give it up. Even though 98% of the calls ID themselves as “SPAM*^&#)$*%&” or far more cleverly as of late – Hopkinton residents with Hopkinton based phone numbers who, when answered, turn out to be another pre-recorded telemarketer. 

Before Caller ID, and the capitalistic insurgency of telemarketing calls, the ring of the family phone stirred up all sorts of wonderment and possibilities: Who could it be – someone known or not? What will I say? My older brother’s friend who I have a crush on? Oh no, what if it’s Mom’s friend, Mrs. So&So. I miss the uncontrolled connectedness. It called up social nimbleness.

Now we’re left few surprises, once we decipher the telemarketing tactic (98% of the time) from the true friend or family member – and as backup, we can enlist our recorded voicemail. Now with all our one known person to one known person cellphone connections, we can readily determine who we’re going to be talking to, and whether we want to or not.

I mourn the family phone.