When I started to use the phone, back in the Dark Ages before answering machines were common in homes (let alone cell phones) I was told “the rule” was to wait through six rings – no more or less – before giving up and hanging up your call. This was based on there being ten seconds from the start of one ring to the start of the next, and thus you were giving the callee a full minute to set down their coffee cup, get up, walk from that room to where the phone was and answer it. Hanging up sooner was rude: you’d disrupted whatever they were doing but then potentially left them stranded saying Hello to a dial tone.
Obviously things have changed. I think answering machines cut the average number down to four: if someone hasn’t answered by then, and you don’t want to bother leaving a message, might as well hang up then.
But now I’ve noticed an increased number of incoming calls stop after just two rings. (Yes, I’m talking about a landline, and one we pretty much never answer. I’m not really sure why we still bother to have one.)
Anyway. I’m wondering if this is just a robocaller thing, them having wised up to the reality that people who don’t answer right away aren’t going to answer after three or four rings (or respond to left messages either) so it’s more efficient to move on to the next potential target sooner?
Or has it become general etiquette since most people have their phones right beside them all the time, and thus could/would answer right away if they wanted to? And thus letting a call ring three or more times is unnecessarily annoying and kind of rude to them and/or the people around them?
What do you think?