As far as I am concerned, telephone is a good example of a modern tool that was meant to make our life convenient but has become an unbearable nuisance instead. I reserve telephone conversations to phatic - mostly intimate - communication, so since I have no steady girlfriend now, almost all the telephone calls I receive are undesired ones. They consist of two types. The first are unsolicited commercial calls for marketing or begging for money. They do bother me, but they are far less intolerable than the second type. What really torture me are those telephone calls on work-related matters from people I know, which in my opinion are better handled by email. These undesired telephone calls have got on my nerves so unbearably that I have devised a way to avoid them.
First of all, I have stopped answering any call when the caller does not disclose his or her telephone number, which is displayed in my telephone. Second, I have prepared a white list of people whose calls I am ready to answer. I have also turned off my answering machine. I do not know how marketing companies and all kinds of organizations begging for money have found my telephone number, but I am afraid that even if I had kept is for myself, they might have found it anyway sooner or later. My biggest mistake was that I gave my telephone number to too many people. Having learned a lesson from this fatal mistake, I have given my mobile phone number to a very small number of my very best friends and limit its use to emergency cases.
My main means of non-face-to-face communication is email. Unfortunately, however, so many people in Israel, unlike in Japan, simply do not know, at least in my opinion, how to use email efficiently so that I cannot make the best use of it here. Nevertheless, email is far more tolerable than telephone as a means of non-intimate communication in relative terms, even in Israel, though it is becoming less and less tolerable in absolute terms.
The problem is that I have no alternative means of non-face-to-face communication. I am forced to continue to use email, but as for telephone, I wish there were some way to restrict the callers to those whose numbers I have approved as in Internet telephony. I believe that communication is one of our basic needs, but we are so inundated with all kinds of "noise" that not to communicate is becoming a luxury in our days.