“The abuse of the telephone for domestic purposes killed the intimacy among friends. People no longer saw one another, they no longer had any need to dress and send for the carriage, because they chatted over the telephone, in sarong and kabaai, in pajamas, almost without stirring a limb. The telephone was close at hand and it rang constantly on the back verandah. People called each other for nothing, or just for the fun of it. Young Mrs. De Hartman had an intimate friend, a young woman whom she had never seen, but whom she telephoned daily, for half an hour at a time. She sat down when she talked, so it did not tire her. And she laughed and joked with her friend, without having to dress and without moving. She did the same with other friends; she visited them by telephone. She did her shopping by telephone. In Labuwangi Eva had not been used to this endless jangling and ringing, which killed all conversation, which on the back verandah revealed only one half of a dialogue – the answer being inaudible to anyone sitting away from the instrument – in the form of incessant, one-sided jabbering.”
From “The Hidden Force” by L. Couperus, first published in 1900.