Headline, December 04 2019/ '' ' MERCIFULLY! = APPS- MESSAGING? ' ''



FOR MANY UNDER 35 - AN UNSCHEDULED phone call is now a micro aggression. Despite its superior features, the phone's fall seems set to continue.

''It's worse than what Father says about living at the mercy of the telephone'' - Princes Caspian by CS Lewis [1951].

This sentence has stayed with me ever since I read it, as a child in the 1980s. It was a revelation far stranger than anything in the novel's fantasy world : an earlier generation had been unnerved by an innocent communication tool.

But with rise of electronic messaging, the fear of phones returned. For many people under 35, an unscheduled phone call is now a micro aggression.

Calls, though, contain nuance and can spark serendipitous ideas. Messages are prone to damaging misunderstandings of tone, which writers strain to mitigate with emojis and exclamation marks.

Email is so unwieldy that one of the hottest unicorns to list in the US this year was Slack Technologies, a company whose main mission is to kill it. Its revenues growing about 50 percent a year and it reckons the potential market is worth $28 billion.

Slack has nicer user interface, allowing teams of employees to exchange messages in a more efficient way than email. However, it only becomes really useful with ubiquity. And there is proliferation of competing tools, complicating Slack's quest and muddying life for workers.

Google has its Hangouts instant messaging tool. Microsoft has Teams, its own copycat product to take over Slack, Facebook has Workplace. Then there are all the consumer-focused products from WhatsApp to WeChat to iMessage and the more secretive apps such as Signal and Telegram with disappearing messages.

In the early days of the telephone, callers were not able to reach someone on a different exchange. That problem was solved. It has been recreated 100 years later in the form of multiple different communication channels. 

Despite its superior features, the phone's decline seems set to continue. This year, the Financial Times ripped out its old Cisco phones, replacing them with a system from RingCentral, a US voice-over Internet supplier. Instead of handsets, journalists must now download to their laptops and mobile the RingCentral app, which enables both calls and messages.

This telephone-murdering group's shares are up almost 250 percent in two years, as corporate beancounters realize the cost benefits of dumping landlines. Valued at $14 billion, RingCentral has displaced 2 million phones and sees an opportunity to take out many more of the 300 million - 500 million in the workplace.

It estimates there is a ''$50 billion market that is ripe for disruption'', which is a depressingly accurate phrase given the volume of dropped calls since the FTs switch.

There is a last hope. The downside of messaging is the vast amount of toxic materials on servers and on individuals devices, all of it ripe to to be leaked, seized or dredged up in discovery.

Sometimes, the content looks worse than it is. Three currency traders were acquitted last year on charges of market manipulation, brought after an unfortunate decision to call their electronic chat group ''The Cartel''.

Cost savings from the decline of the telephone have to be balanced against multibillion dollar litigation and regulatory costs generated by the rise of electronic messages. Phone Phobia is bad for business.

The Honor and Serving of the latest research and writings on Phone, messaging apps and society, continues. The World Students Society thanks author 'The Top Line', Tom Braithwaite.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare  and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Phone - Phase '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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