Applications need to replace phones

This year, every other phone call Americans receive will be a robo-call.

With the overwhelming amount of daily spam calls calls Americans receive, it’s time we ditch the phone.

Right now, there seems to be a countless supply of free communication applications. FaceTime, Discord, Slack, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts and Signal are just a few of the free messaging applications which allow users to make phone calls and video calls. With so many free resources at our disposal, why haven’t we decided as a society to make phones a thing of the past?

If we leave behind traditional landline telecommunication, it will be cheaper and more efficient for multiple reasons. Right now, most phone services don’t offer caller identification or, if they do, it requires a paid subscription. This makes it much harder to weed out the robocallers. Additionally, with call spoofing technology, even if someone has caller identification, it doesn’t guarantee they’ll know who’s is calling.

With most communication applications, you know who is trying to contact you. This will make it much harder for unwanted calls to make their way to the consumer.

Additionally, if you receive a robo-call and block the number, the perpetrators behind the robocalls can change the phone number. With applications like WhatsApp, Signal and Discord, it’s much harder to contact someone that’s been blocked.

Cost is another huge reason leaving behind phone calls makes sense. Phone contracts are expensive in America, whether it’s for one person or a landline service for the entire household. Most messaging applications are free to use and offer the same services. Why spend more than  $50 a month to have the ability to make phone calls when you can FaceTime someone for practically free?

Of course, just like anything, there’s always a tradeoff. Some communication applications require data or WiFi to place calls. Traditional phone calls can still be placed even if data or WiFi are not available. However, this problem won’t exist forever.

Each year, more and more of America is getting online. While large portions of the west are still without broadband internet options or have spotty data connections, this won’t be as much of an issue five or 10 years from now.

Another existing problem is the number of options. A common messaging application will need to replace traditional phone calls for Americans to leave phones behind. Right now, everyone has their preferences with what messaging applications they use. Instead, they’ll need to migrate to a common application for phone calls to be fully replaced.

If the Federal Communications Commission continues to ignore the issue behind robocalls, there’s no reason why Americans shouldn’t make the switch to a more modern communication method on their own.

In this current age of technology, it’s amazing that phone calls—invented in 1876—are still used daily in America. If anyone has a year-old laptop, it’s considered outdated with the speed which technology develops. There must be a communication application out there that’s better than something invented 142 years ago.