Millennials Are Killing Doorbells & Honestly, Good Riddance

published Sep 1, 2017
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(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez)

This week on Millennials Kill Things, we present the generation’s latest victim: the doorbell. On Monday, the Wall Street Journal wrote a piece about how young people are no longer using the humble buzzer to announce their presence, and are instead texting, DMing, Snapping, or whatever to alert their friends that they’re downstairs. My Millennial might be showing, but honestly, same.

I suppose I’m technically a Xennial, but in this case, I have to agree with my younger brethren: While I’d probably use something a little more mild to avoid hyperbole, calling the sudden sound of my buzzer “terrifying” isn’t far off—which is how 20 year old Tiffany Zhong describes it to WSJ. It’s startling, for sure, and it’s aggressively loud in relation to my 500 square foot apartment. I’ve lived in quite a few buildings, and every (working) doorbell has been similarly intrusive.

And it doesn’t disturb just me—every time someone buzzes, my cats go FLYING under the bed, literally terrified. Doorbells similarly set dogs off on barking sprees, or wake children from naps. A text is quiet and less intrusive. Plus, as Zhong tells WSJ, “doorbells are for outsiders. A text signifies it’s a friend.”

Though that disruptive nature is the point—to get your attention, and it does have its benefits. I lived in one building where the buzzers didn’t work, and in the two years I was there, I missed countless packages (certain companies won’t call you, even when you post your phone number on the door, FedEx) or spent an absurd amount of time looking out the window, scanning the street for delivery trucks.

So even if you don’t like doorbells, they won’t actually be disappearing any time soon, as WSJ reports:

The National Association of Home Builders says there is no sign that new houses are being built without doorbells, and they often are required by local building codes.

To paraphrase Anita Ward, you can ring my bell (but I’d rather you text instead).

How do you feel about doorbells? Tell us in the comments…