At the time Alexander Graham Bell invented in the telephone, they were seen as an amped-up version of the telegraph. Users were encouraged to keep phone lines free-- just for practical purposes like ordering groceries, making appointments or reporting an emergency. Chit chat was discouraged. But once more and more phone lines became available, AT&T began a campaign to encourage greater usage. "Reach out and touch someone" originally coined in the 1920s, gave the public dozens of reasons to "keep in touch". In the 1980s, AT&T picked up the phrase again for a series of sentimental 60 second ads.
Make sure to also check out AT&T's TV commercial at the bottom of this post!