This discussion will focus on answering machines and the caller identification system, and how this technology affects our leisure time, our business interactions, and our personal relationships. The history and progression of this technology is documented to collectively show the impact that it has had in our world. The control of communication that we exercise in our own homes and offices and how this in turn directly relates to our everyday lives will be explored. It has become clear to the authors through research and exploration, that society's needs have dictated how the technology has evolved to the current level. As a culture, we have become somewhat dependent on the information provided by these technologies to obtain partial control of the use of our precious time and energy. Anyone who has ever heard the telephone ring, looked at the caller ID display, and then made the choice to pass or to answer the call is affected by this technology.
These choices may have far reaching consequences that lead to changes in our personal and business communications, and the relationships to which they are tied.
By choosing to let a call go unanswered, we are selecting whom we do or do not wish to speak with at that particular time. Whether that is a call from an in-law, friend, solicitor, or most often an unknown caller, this choice is leading all of us to selectively isolate ourselves from the outside world. It is common knowledge that telemarketers are now blocking their numbers and names to entice the receiver to pick up the telephone.
The good in this is that we do not frustrate ourselves by rushing to answer the phone, only to find that the call is coming in from an unknown source, most likely a sales or survey type call.