The Economist:

Nielsen, a research firm, reports that the amount of time mobile subscribers talk has dropped to 700 minutes per month in 2010. That includes incoming calls. A survey by CTIA, a trade group, shows that the average length of a mobile call has dropped from just over three minutes to one minute and 40 seconds since mid-2007.

Those who do their very best not to call and talk to people are the ones in tune with a structure of feeling that best fits our cultural/technological moment. A raw call on the phone (landline or cell) is simply demanding too much of the person who has been called. Being is no longer a matter of presence. We can be without "being there" in the vocal real. It's almost offensive to dial, ring, voice a being into presence, particularly if it's not a pressing, work-related matter or some real family emergency. A text message/email/chat is more than enough for almost all human concerns. Only those who where born before 1950 have the right to do this sort of sorry thing—not to treat you as a cloud of information that can precipitate and make a solid appearance if an arrangement is made by text/email/chat.

But just look at the chart in the article! Americans are talking way too much—800 minutes a month! The Japanese, the masters of posthumanism, have clearly gone beyond this embarrassing insistence on the vocal presence of being. We must follow their example. We must keep live communications to a minimum. We must keep it unreal.

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