Sorry, phone number, but it’s time for you to die

July 21, 2014

Darren Murph, writing for The Loop magazine:

For all of the technologies that have come, served their time, and went, the antediluvian phone number remains—clinging to life much like a zombie that refuses to remain planted in its grave. Unlike Sony’s MiniDisc, SanDisk’s slotRadio, and Palm’s webOS, the phone number has few meaningful supporters. In fact, it’s easily one of the most complicated and frustrating beacons of communication in the world today, but it’s hanging on for one primary reason: ubiquity.

I couldn’t agree more.

Of course, later in the article, Darren points out the undeniable truth of the matter:

Out society is too large, and far too set in their ways, for anyone to expect the masses to take meaningful action to change our dependence on the traditional phone number.

It would take a long time, a lot of work, and even more frustration to phase out the outdated system of telephone numbers (yesterday, I echoed Matt Gemmell’s similar thoughts on the URL.) Even if progress will be slow or impossible, I’m glad to see people thinking about the future like this. There’s truly no reason to hold on to old systems long after they’ve been acknowledged as “outdated.”