From “Hello?” to “Yeah? Hey. What’s up?”

While waiting for my daughter at her hip-hop class, listening to folks answer their cellphones, it dawned on me that “telephone etiquette” has changed a lot. I remember the days when a person would answer their phone with a “Hello?” Now, most people seem to answer with a more casual “Yeah? Hey. What’s up?” I’m pretty sure this is a pretty common thing now, perhaps starting about 10 years ago. I think it all stems from the widespread adoption of Caller ID.

Years ago, before everyone had Caller ID, when you received a phone call, you didn’t know was on the other end. To err on the side of caution, we answered our phones more formally — the caller could be a parent, an employer, etc. But, now with everyone having Caller ID, we now know who the caller is before we answer and that familiarity results in the casual response when we answer.

Have you noticed this trend? Think there’s another explanation? Just curious …

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