“There’s Nobody Here By That Name.”

A love story about telephone cords and jealousy

But do you call people? Very often? Anymore?

To call someone today is an act of familiarity, or an act of hubris, or an act of courage.

An incomplete list of fun and engaging things you can do with your phone these days:

Email. Texts. Articles. Videos. Games. Ordering stuff. Porn.

Which begs the question:

when you’re at dinner, or in a meeting, or standing at a bar with someone else, how do you feel when they begin to use their phone instead of talking to you?

“There’s still a feeling of rejection when somebody says she prefers the company of others to your exclusive company.”

And we’ve always yearned for this.

The ability to do many things in a single moment.

James Garfield: talented.

All of this is connected to why, perhaps, we don’t call each other much anymore.

Except for granny, the one who doesn’t text.

But then, in your pocket, you feel it, too: the pull of your own phone, of all those possible people, like an undertow.

You may wish to consider, for instance, tapping on a link. Your decision to tap a link on your phone’s browser is based on your expectations of the future: how long you think that link will take to load, how long you think that content will take to consume, all that. If the page takes too long to load, you abandon it. If the content takes too long to consume, you don’t. We have learned this behavior through infinite repetitions.

Those taps and clicks are opportunity costs.

And that is a more granular experience of spending time than we’ve ever had, ever.

This, by the way, is why Amazon’s 1-click buy button is brilliant.

And why Amazon Prime is brilliant.

The telephone allows us to be synchronized.

The Internet allows us to be the opposite. To batch ourselves. And with that untethering comes an explicit understanding of scale.

Years ago, phones only existed in buildings, and wasn’t that strange.

Those buildings were attached to other buildings by a wire. To call someone, you traveled to a building and called another building. And when you moved, you took your phone with you.



Content Ops and Strategy for brands and agencies // itsmestevebryant.com // now with more newsletter: stevebryant.substack.com

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