Are We Starting To Use Smartphones To Make Calls Again?

With the rise of mobile phones and later smartphones, it became noticeable that folks were making fewer actual phone calls, but doing a lot more texting and emailing on the run. Is this trend maybe starting to swing back the other way? It seems like it, partly because a sizeable group of us are dropping the traditional home phone, and only using mobile devices.
Chetan Sharma, an independent analyst who follows the wireless industry, noted that cellular voice volume in the United States grew 14 percent in the last year: According to figures from CTIA — the Wireless Association, the number of voice minutes in the United States increased to 2.62 trillion, from 2.3 trillion.
One reason for the uptick, Mr. Sharma said, is that nearly 40 percent of American households are now mobile-only, meaning that they no longer have a landline phone, and rely entirely on their cellphones.

One of the things that email and texting both suffer from is the difficulty in conveying sarcasm or humor in some cases, even if using things like "LOL" and Emoji or Emoticons (the cute little smiley faces and such).

A new twist might be brief "voice notes" that can be sent, when a more personal message is desired but not necessarily a full blown phone conversation. Not really a voicemail message, but a notification like a text but with a short recording attached.
A handful of new voice-centered mobile applications are gaining traction as they try to improve on the old-fashioned phone call. All are aiming to solve a basic problem: For people accustomed to messaging, a phone call often feels disruptive and inconvenient. They may not want to answer a call immediately, but if they don’t, they may be caught in endless, irritating games of phone tag.
The new services aren’t trying to replicate the phone calls of yore. Instead, they are trying to fashion a new kind of voice interaction that is efficient and intimate, yet not intrusive. Many have the advantage of letting the recipient of a message play it and answer it at her leisure.
Many of the boomer generation and beyond may just stick with person-to-person phone calls, with the occasional text  (usually in response to a text), but it's interesting to see how the communication scene is changing, and what options are available these days.


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