Phone calls are making a comeback as people crave human connection during pandemic

Editor’s take: Remember when cell phones used to be used to… you know, make phone calls? It seems like an eternity ago considering how many additional tasks and responsibilities we had piled on top of the smartphone. Stranger yet is the fact that it has seemingly taken a global pandemic to remind everyone that smartphones are still telephones at heart.

With millions now adhering to stay-at-home measures to combat the spread of Covid-19, the impact of isolation is starting to take its toll on the human psyche. We are social creatures at heart and for most that aren’t already used to being alone, it can be a lot to deal with.

So, we reach out to make some sort of human connection using a forgotten tool – the trusty ole telephone.

Verizon is juggling an average of 800 million wireless phone calls per day during weekdays which is more than twice as many as it normally fields on Mother’s Day, historically one of the busiest days for phone calls each year. AT&T said its mobile call volume is up 35 percent as of late and that Wi-Fi calling had nearly doubled.

Chris Sambar, AT&T’s executive vice president of technology and operations, said the surge in voice calls is both for business and personal use. Before the pandemic, wireless calls would spike in the morning and during rush hours in the evening but would level off once people got to work and school. Now, call volume is high throughout the day.

Verizon said the length of voice calls has also extended with folks talking for about 33 percent longer on average.

Similar trends are also being observed with regard to Internet-connected devices as people are increasingly dusting off their old desktops to use while stuck at home.

Masthead credit: Kzenon, Klepach

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