Phone Numbers are Dead

I feel justified in my longstanding policy of not answering the phone (or even letting my phone ring) unless it’s on a very short list of known numbers.

I expect that voice calling via a phone number will die in the US long before the robocall problem is ever solved.

1 Like

The funniest thing about this is the tactic of using a “local” area code:

…many services provide a “neighbor spoofing” function, which makes automated calls appear to be coming from the recipient’s area code.

I auto-block any number that calls me from a “local” looking number, since my number is from a place I lived a decade ago. It’s amazing that this is part of their tactics, in that it probably works very well against people who live where they grew up. I wonder if that actually skews the demographic they target.

What’s your suspicion on what will take over? Whatsapp/:LINE/Skype/Discord type services?

Also, if you have a Pixel phone,

This app has worked well for me:

Heard good things about this as well:

There are many others out there. Whatever works.

What are the in-app purchases?

I’ve never paid, so I don’t know.

Right now I am answering all calls, especially local numbers because I am looking for a new permanent job and any number might be a potential employer. Since I started doing the number of robo calls I get have exploded. I’m thinking of just letting everything go to voicemail and calling back.

1 Like

Interestingly, every job I’ve ever applied for was entirely over email. If there was a phone call of any kind, they’d schedule it in advance and I’d be expecting the call.

I wish that happened with me, mostly because I hate talking on the phone. I don’t even like talking to my family on the phone much less strangers.

1 Like

I think non-voice will take over for most use cases. No one will call, or be called by, any commercial entity.

Voice/video calling will probably just be ad-hoc among close friends and family and otherwise not routinely done at all. Using a variety of platforms.

I wonder what would happen if I took my phone number off my resume and only gave my email address.

Also I was wondering why group chat feels more natural than A Phone Call. I suppose it’s because culturally you’re supposed to talk continuously with a one on one telephone conversation but in a voice chat no one cares if you go quiet for a bit so there’s no pressure.

1 Like

I’d omit the phone number from your card and see what happens. If someone really needs it, a pen can add a number when just bumping phones or whatever isn’t called for.

For the time being phone numbers are the easiest way for hospitals to securely communicate with their patients. TBH if it wasn’t for that I’d abandon my phone number completely.

Is that what the kids are calling it these days?


Yeah. Most of the time, the only phone calls I routinely get from people other than friends and family are from my doctors, who are spread out across so many different offices and locations that it’s not like I can just put a consistent entry for them in my contacts list. I also live in the general vicinity of where I got my first cell phone back in 2000, so local numbers are all theoretically legit for me.

The main problem with phone numbers as an “ID” is that caller ID is inherently broken and insecure and the telcos have no desire to fix that issue. Fixing caller ID could probably solve a good number (no pun intended) of the issues we’re seeing here.

I guess in an ideal world, a “phone number” would function more like an IP address – something that is used by the machines behind the scenes but that no human actually uses for routine stuff.

Working for a VoIP company, I’ve learned two things:

  1. People think Caller ID is gospel, dictated from the heavens.
  2. Caller ID is the least secure protocol since sending passwords in plantext over an unencrypted telnet link at DEFCON.

I was spoofing caller ID in high school…

1 Like

Also looking for work right now, most recruiters have reached out via LinkedIn and email, but a couple have called me directly. My phone number has been fucked for a long time now since, at one point, it was either a company number before I got it or a company registered my number by accident because I get calls for business shit about once a week or two.

Whether I answer an unknown number really depends on my mood. Most of the time I will just to see what is being sold to me, but sometimes I just can’t be bothered. Lately, I’ve been answering everything though since I just don’t know whether it’s job hunting stuff or not.

I get basically zero* robocalls on either of my numbers. I’m very protective of them, and nothing ever targets me.

*The exception is derived calls from my local area code. It’ll be the same first six digits, and then the last four will be different. Those are 99% of all robocalls I receive on either of my numbers.

I get some really odd robocalls to my number. I probably get some to my landline as well, but I only have one since it’s bundled with my internet access at basically no extra charge (I have a cheapo-wired phone plugged into a jack as a backup in case cellular reception goes flaky near my home for some reason. I also have its ringer turned off as I only intend to use it for outgoing calls).

The most odd ones I get are in Chinese… I have no idea what’s up with those.