Ah, the telephone. Once the heart of every home and found on every street corner, phones were a lifeline. Pick up the receiver, and you'd be connected to a living breathing person eager to help.
Telephones are devices that humans use to communicate with other humans over vast distances. They speak into the device and their voice is sent by electronic means to the receiving unit. There the signals are converted back into sound. Originally these signals were transmitted using wires, but modern phones often use satellite relays.1
Before the advent of advanced computing, these connections were often fascilitated by humans known as telephone operators. Operators served as databases for information and translators, performing many of the functions now handled by computers.
At one point the population of Earth was so small that these operators could connect two humans with only a few bits of information.
People who chose this profession were often friendly and eager to help, sometimes serving as a comforting voice in the night to someone living alone, or as a tutor to a child having trouble with their homework.
This profession is largely obsolete as the signals are now transferred via computer, and search engines provide instant answers to most questions.
Specialized operators, known as emergency services operators, do still exist to route emergency response to the correct location and provide assistance until that help arrives.
Human operators were replaced by much more gullible computer operators, leaving humans overwhelmed by robo-calling, a practice where computers are used to place thousands of useless calls every minute to any human unwitting enough to have allowed their phone number to escape into the wild. Humanity has not developed the identity protection used by the Galactic Alliance where it is considered illegal to contact anyone that you do not have a direct relationship with. Permission based contact is not a right on Earth.
I hate this! There's no point in even answering my phone! It's just another scammer!!!
1Please use caution when navigating in or near Earth's atmosphere as the area is littered with these satellites and disturbing them will cause disruption in phone service for the humans, causing them to suddenly feel out-of-touch and vulnerable. There's nothing worse than a human without phone service.
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I'll be adding more content to this article in the future.