Joseph Epstein on the benefits of caller ID:
“Proust once said that he didn’t much care for the analogy of a book to a friend. He thought a book was better than a friend, because you could shut it — and be shut of it — when you wished, which one can't always do with a friend. With caller ID added to one's telephone service one can, in effect, turn off the lights and sit in the dark until the visitor goes away (a matter of a mere four or five rings of the phone), or, to use Proust’s analogy, never ‘open’ the friend to begin with. Screening calls allows one to have conversation with one’s friends when one is ready for it. Thank you once again, technology.”

— from “Friendship” (2006), Page 184.