Caller ID, Common Sense or Sociology

I think one of the most useful and most ingenious invention in the line of telephone is Caller ID. It is very satisfactory to see who is calling when I pick up the phone. It is a warm feeling to see my friend’s number or my sibling’s number displayed on the phone. I can decide not to answer if it is some commercial.  I can even take time to come up with some sort of excuse if that is some charity asking for donations. Ha ha.

In the mean while, I think the most stupid, most disingenuous, most deceiving, most threatening, most unfriendly invention is to hide your own callerID while calling. It is very frustrating, to say the least, coming home to see a long list of “missed calls” with the names “unknown number,” “Unidentified caller,” “Private number,” “No Caller ID” … Now, I do understand that one might like to keep some privacy.  People may not like their phone numbers (addresses, e-mail addresses …) to be listed by name, by profession, by association, on internet on FaceBook … or any where.  However, hiding your own name and number while initiate a call?  It is like go to someones’ house for a visit but wearing black and a ski mask when you ring the door bell.  The conversation might go as following:

“Knock, knock.”

“Who is there?”

“I am not going to tell you.”

“Are you a friend?”

“I am not going to tell you.”

“Are you selling something?”

“I am not going to tell you.”

“Are you police?”

“I am not going to tell you.”

“Are you here to kill me?”

“I am not going to tell you.”

The host look outside either through a window or through a peephole.  All he can see is a person in black wearing a ski mask holding something which could be a present, a king’s scepter, or an AK-42.

Now think about it: could you, with a straight face, tell me even one occasion when you initiate a call and you do not want the receiver to know who is calling:  when you are calling a friend; when you are calling a relative; when you are calling your boss; when you are calling the police; when you are calling your doctor; when you are calling a business to order something; when you are calling a company to complain about something; when you are calling 911; … etc?

OK, after pondering really hard, I came up with two occasions (not in straight face) in which you do want to hide your ID while calling.   When you want to call you Ex and you have prepared a long list of curse word ready to unload.