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Avoiding phone calls.

When I was, oh, 18 or so, the phone was my lifeline. My girlfriends and I could chat for hours on end, and when the phone rang I was running to the phone, snatching it out of my dad’s hands before he could utter a hello.

But now?


The phone rings and I cringe. Without picking up the phone, I ask with aΒ throaty voice, WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!

I’d much rather text or email, or even send pigeons. Flickering lights! That is GREAT communication! But the sound of a phone ringing makes me want to fling it out the door.

Ironically, the one phone call I’m happy to pick up is telemarketers so I can tell them to STOP CALLING ME.


42 Responses to “Avoiding phone calls.”

  1. Carrie K. ()

    Phone-haters unite! πŸ™‚


  2. Laura @ I'm Booking It ()

    I won’t even pick up for the telemarketers, and so they keep calling, and calling, and calling. Someone is calling 2-3 times a day with no caller ID. I won’t pick up, they won’t leave a message.

    Count me in the phone call avoiders club!


  3. Chrisbookarama ()

    As I get older, I get more like my Dad. When I was a kid, if the phone rang he’d growl from across the room” Wadyawant?!” I don’t know why he never answered it and it was never for him. Lately, I’m finding myself growling at a ringing phone, “What now?!” So, yeah, scary.


  4. Erin ()

    I pretty much don’t pick up the phone unless it’s a family member, and then only if I have time to talk. Voicemail is my best friend. Although if I had a carrier pigeon, I’m pretty sure he’d take over the BFF spot. (Pigeons…great idea!)

    I’m glad someone else out there is as anti-phone as I am.


  5. Mary ()

    We don’t even have a land line anymore. Caller ID on the mobile phones make it that much easier to decide when to answer – my parents and my kids. I hate talking on the phone!


  6. Staci

    I’m so with you on this one!!!!


  7. Jeane

    Thank god for caller ID! I can choose who I want to talk to. My husband is always amazed that I’m so rude on the phone to solicitors (because I’m not at all like that in person) but hey, it works. They rarely call back!


  8. Jenny ()

    I hate talking on the phone. And every time it rings I assume someone has died, and if it rings after about 9:00 in the evening, I triple-assume someone has died. Phones are awful.


  9. Book Worm

    I am soooo with you!! Who needs the phone when you have Facebook, texting, instant messaging and email? LOL!


  10. Virginia Bonnett

    My hatred for phones knows no end. To answer it, I must really like you.

    I also find it humorous that I’ve been following your blog for a while now, but this post is what drove me to finally comment.

    I do so enjoy your site. Your love of books makes me very happy.


  11. jill

    I’m horrible about returning voice mails with a text! If you know me, you know not to call…


  12. Deborah ()

    except for talking to my husband or other close family members, i HATE talking on the phone. i hate calling to make appointments or calling customer service. i hate when my phone rings and i don’t know who it is. worst was when i worked at a doctor’s office and had to work the phones as a receptionist. when i make calls i always think the person on the other line doesn’t want to talk to me and when i receive calls i never know what the person is going to say and that leaves me terrified.


  13. Ivy ()

    When the phone rings the first thing I think is ….Now who is this…because it is usually someone who wants to chat. i don’t chat on the phone, only on line. period. have something important to tell me, otherwise just text or email.


  14. Jen Forbus ()

    I try repeatedly to get people to understand how much I hate the phone. Most times I don’t answer it and just let the voice mail get it. If I can return the response with an email, I definitely do. Next choice is a text. And if it’s absolutely necessary, I return a call but only after waiting as long as humanly possible.

    Oh lord I hate that contraption!


  15. Ree ()

    All I can really think to say as a reply to this is a huge DITTO!


  16. Vera ()

    Oh wow, I completely understand how you feel! When I was 18…and even in college…I literally put the cell phone under my pillow while I slept just so I could pick it up in case someone called…in the middle of the night!And now, I just hate answering it. I’d rather send a text message that’s short and to the point instead of spending 5-10 minutes on the phone.


  17. Amused ()

    Couldn’t agree more – glad I’m not alone!


  18. Danielle

    It seems that there are a LOT of people who share your same sentiment. I HATE the phone, and my friends/family know it. I do the same thing you do, when it rings, I’m like why are you bugging me? Because let’s face it, a phone call is ALWAYS an interruption.


  19. Jacki

    Nice to know I’m not alone with my intense dislike of the phone we have an answering machine so I let all my calls go through to that, and my mobile phone has certain tones for Family & Friends so I immediately know who is calling but still I’d rather Text or email, and as someone said let’s bring back the Carrier Pigeon.


  20. Michelle

    LOL! I’m thinking we should start communicating via morse code!


  21. Veens

    Me too!


  22. Amy ()

    Hmmm I’m with you sometimes, but not others. If I’m in the middle of a good book, or in an anti-social mood, or depending who is calling, I get annoyed. But occasionally I do get in chatty moods and then I love the phone ringing! Very occasionally πŸ˜‰


  23. zibilee

    I read somewhere last week that phone calls are irritating because it’s usually a good time for the person who is doing the calling to talk, but a bad time for the person being called. I would have to agree with that. I much prefer e-mails myself, and have been known to turn of my ringer for days at a time without any ill effects at all!


  24. Stacybuckeye ()

    I’m a screener πŸ™‚


  25. Pam ()

    I have the SAME problem. We don’t even have a land line. I hate the phone.


  26. Becky Workman ()

    I cannot agree more! I never even answer the home phone anymore at all. If it’s someone who really needs to talk to me, they can call my cell. I hate looking for the cordless house phone anyway!


  27. Frankie

    I don’t care if it’s on the wall or in my hand. I don’t like talking on a phone. And since I don’t talk much, I have to listen and I don’t like that even more than talking!


  28. Sandy

    I do love that little ID so I can see who is trying to disturb my peace. I don’t get near as many since I got rid of the landline. I also prefer texting and e-mail…so much more passive aggressive.


  29. S. Krishna ()

    Who knew there were so many of us?


  30. Kiki

    I so hear you! I hate the phone! Cell and home!


  31. Cathy ()

    The old expression used to be “the greatest thing since sliced bread.” Personally I think it should be updated to “the greatest thing since Caller ID.”


  32. Kristi DeMeester

    Phone calls always seem to imply that either something is wrong, or someone wants to yell at me. I find neither of these appealing.


  33. kay @ Infiniteshelf ()

    I’m so with you on that – and to repeat what Swapna, said, Who knew there were so many of us? I hate the phone and I use it as little as possible.


  34. Lisa

    Now I always feel like I don’t have enough time to get caught up in a phone call. They always last much too long–and I’m just as guilty of making that happen as the person calling. Thank heavens for speakerphones!


  35. Lisamm

    UGH I so agree.. except you and I need to talk this weekend!! LOL I am soooo not a phone person and totally prefer emails and texts.


  36. heidenkind ()

    I’ve always hated phones. Don’t even get me started on the childhood trauma!!


  37. Krysten ()

    I JUST blogged about this same exact thing last week. I used to LOVE talking on the phone but now I would much rather use any other form of communication. I don’t know when exactly that change happened but lord, if you know me at all you won’t call me because I most likely won’t answer anyway!


  38. Sheila DeChantal ()

    Trish you gave me a flash back to those teenage years of hanging on the phone…. what do I remember? The phone cord. I remember taking the phone down the hall and dragging cord into my room and closing the door to talk to my friends. The cord would go across the bathroom door which usually caused complaints.

    Now I talk to so many people face to face all day long, I am on my computer and emailing and texting that by the time I get home in the evening I really do not want to have to talk to anyone πŸ™‚


  39. SleepyJohn

    Interesting post. Not only am I a phone-hater but I have a theory as to why I am, apart from the obvious fact that it disturbs and demands my immediate attention in a way that texts, emails and even IMs do not. And that it can put me on the spot because I have to respond instantly to possibly difficult questions; and long silences while you compose an answer are as unacceptable on the phone as they were on radio before Terry Wogan, in his inimitable Irish way, managed to actually make them part of his act.

    The real problem though, I think, is the fact that you cannot see the person to gauge what they are really thinking, from their body language and their eye signals. This makes it quite difficult to have a meaningful conversation, one which ebbs and flows and follows naturally according to these all-important non-verbal hints. Periods of companionable silence are also an important part of a natural conversation.

    Video links would thus seem better in theory, but in practice are even worse. You can see body language, but the lack of natural intimacy tends to muddle it. At the same time you cannot make rude signs to your spouse during the conversation; you cannot go and make a cup of tea while the person witters on; and you cannot continue watching television with the sound low. All in all, I agree with everyone else here.


  40. Aths ()

    Hah! How funny because that’s exactly how I feel. At this very moment, I have to call a cousin of mine to thank her for sending me a courier, and I am putting it off every minute till it becomes sleep time and I’ll just say that I can call tomorrow. SIgh!


  41. Tahlia Newland

    I’ve noticed that if it’s anyone calling from a call centre ( ie marketers) there’s always a pause before they talk , so if you phone me and don’t speak straight away, I think you’re a telenarketer and put the phone down.


  42. Agantha Heterodynamix

    This blog post makes me feel a lot better about the kind of apprehension I feel when I get a phone call, certainly in the bulk of cases when I’m not expecting one. It’s a mode of communication you are in most cases obligated to apply all of your senses to yet are unable to perceive anything about the person calling- before or after you see the caller ID (which of _course_ is an extra treat on your phone bill anyway), seeing as the bulk of unexpected callers are telemarketers who blank out their real number or use a false one in its place- aside from their voice. And it’s not like you can cuss out an autodialer! I’ve seriously considered cutting off both my landline and my cellphone (the latter especially, because I pay for whatever amount of my limited minutes are eaten up by telemarketing parasites) because nine out of ten calls I get are telemarketers or salespeople. And this is a communications tool I’m paying for in each case, for my OWN FUCKING USE! It’s not so someone can tell me what I need to buy but wasn’t intelligent enough to know it, or out and out scam me (which is not so unusual now).

    Email or even text messaging I can handle because it’s purely visual. I can commit myself to composing a reasonable reply and still be able to watch a vid or listen to music in the background. They are suitably time-independant and sensory-low-bandwidth methods of communication. I don’t have to (nor should I be expected to) cram my head totally into a conversation I myself did not expect nor desire to participate in, certainly if the caller is doing it for their own profit.

    I think the basement-level reason I haven’t cut them both off is that there is a reasonable expectation of a venue of communication in the telephone, certainly the landline. Secondarily, at least in my case, telemarketing callers seem to be coming less frequently, but the ratio involved doesn’t change much because I don’t generally get a great number of telephone calls. The cellphone situation, regrettably, is a lot worse. I absolutely _dread_ hearing the generic polyphonic tone my cell makes, because I can realistically expect nine out of ten calls I get will be telemarketers or robocaller machines, and it’s not unusual to have two or three insanely irritating calls from the very same dialing tape/software on each respective occasion.

    The parasites who set these calling stations up know we can’t shut them out. Do Not Call lists are probably more valuable for the best-hidden calls of origin because they know exactly who _doesn’t_ want to hear them reel out their schpiel. No cellphone I know of can intentionally block from receiving any calls originating from a number outside a specific list or one’s personal directory. I have little doubt that this is intentional on the part of the designers of these phones, even if the end result is of a much greater magnitude of damage than they planned in the first place.


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