Tuesday, September 11, 2018


There was a time, mainly when I was practicing medicine, that I felt the need to always be available. Honestly, I sometimes resented it, but it went with the profession. Now that I'm retired, things are different. I carry a cell phone when I go out, mainly to make outgoing calls. Because we also have a landline at our house, we're pretty available almost all of the time.

Over the past several months I've noticed a definite increase in calls--both on our landline and our cells--that aren't from people to whom we'd like to talk. Rather, they want to sell us something, get us to vote a certain way, or otherwise manipulate us. In other words, they're "spam" calls.

I've tried the various apps to block these calls, and they work some of the time, but the spammers are always coming up with new ways to get around these. For instance, they "spoof" calls, so that if your Caller ID shows The White House, don't get excited--it's not the President calling. It's someone who wants to sell you insurance, and they could be calling from across the country or anywhere in the world.

Recently, I've noticed a number of calls that have the same area code and prefix as a recognizable cell. Apparently, these callers think I'll see the number, ignore the ID, and answer. I  also keep getting frequent calls from unfamiliar numbers in different area codes--I suppose there are enough folks who answer to make it worth their while to keep calling.

Anyway, it's nice to be available when friends, relatives, and expected callers want to reach us. But I'm getting tired of others who try to sneak in. What do you think? Is our "new" availability worth the invasion of our privacy it makes us vulnerable to? I'd like to hear.


Jackie Smith said...

I agree, Richard....very tired of this myself.

Paula said...

We get unwanted calls all the time. Some, like you said, have the same prefix. But we let the answer machine get it. We figure if it is important, they will leave a message or call back. Frustrating when they don’t do either! We block calls if they are spam or too frequent and we can’t identify them.
I agree, some things are getting too invasive.

Richard Mabry said...

Jackie and Paula, I think there's only a certain amount you can do (we take Paula's approach as well)--guess it's just the price of progress.

Patricia Bradley said...

I never answer a number i don’t recognize. I’m like Paula- if it’s someone I know they’ll leave a message. I have been known to answer one of those calls with, “Corinth Police Department. Fraud division. How may I help you?”

Priscilla said...

LOL, Patricia's comment! I don't like being available at all. I'm an introvert and value silence. But I have to be careful. One time I turned off my cell and laptop to get some work done and go for a walk, and a relative sent a sheriff's deputy to do a welfare check!

Richard Mabry said...

Like Priscilla, I'm laughing at Patricia's comment. Wish I was as quick-thinking.