Eh. I could never understand what anyone said to me n the phone even before this writer's definition of "stopped working." Heh. Once someone tried to prank call me (obscenely, in fact) and I had such a hard time understanding them that after a couple of calls, they gave up. When I was a few years older I finally figured out why they were so annoyed.
My hearing tests out perfect. I'm told this is probably an effect of the ADD. Still, I'm more willing to just say "damn phones don't work, no matter what kind you try to use" and be done with it.
Something that this article sadly doesn't touch on (because it has destroyed some of the charm of telephones) is the change to people being 'always on duty'. It used to be that you could get out of the house and, by doing so, be out of reach completely. Want to have some time alone, without possible interruptions? Just walk out your front door. Now, we are expected to be available 24/7 and others fret if they can't speak to us every time they have a brain fart that they want to share. There are so many ways to communicate with each other that we've forgotten how to communicate meaningfully. Because it's so easy to communicate meaningless crap, what communication we do have lacks any meaning or import.