Rambling Thoughts from a Wandering Mind


Why I Hate Talking on the Phone

People who know me are aware that I dislike speaking on the phone. There are very few people I want to talk with on the phone and even they don’t get calls very often.

I hate talking on the phone so much that I won’t pick up if I don’t recognize the number. I figure that if it’s important they’ll leave a message and I can call back. If they don’t leave a message it was probably a telemarketer, since there are few people who call me that aren’t in my contact list.

The two notable exceptions to this rule are when I’m at work and when I’m job hunting.

At work, I can’t simply ignore the phone, as much as I’d sometimes like to. And when I’m job hunting, a number I don’t recognize could be a potential employer so I’m more likely to pick up (though I often still let these calls go to voice mail, since this allows me to call back when I’m better prepared).

Why do I hate the phone, you may ask? That’s a good question, and Dharmesh Shah (with a little help from The Oatmeal) answers it better than I ever could, so I encourage you to read his post, but it comes down to a few things:

  • Unscheduled phone calls are an interruption (and almost always unwelcome).
  • Because of the need to be polite, phone calls rarely get straight to the point.
  • Unless it was scheduled in advance, I’m almost never prepared to have a conversation on the phone.
    • This causes pressure to commit to something without having time to properly think it over.
  • There’s just enough of a delay on cell phone calls that both people end up constantly cutting each other off without meaning to.

If you want to call me, text me first and ask if it’s a good time. Better yet, send an email and we’ll avoid the phone all together if possible. If you’re family or a very close friend, I’ll probably pick up the phone anyway, but that pre-call text would make me love you even more.

2 thoughts on “Why I Hate Talking on the Phone

  1. Hilarious that we blogged on the same topic.
    Eloquently stated, Adam.

    Did you know there is an app that you can get to reply to text messages from people who are text-demanding?
    I don’t have the app myself, I know about it through one of my boys. I am curious how well it works. Is it the text version of “I am not available to take your call at the moment…”?

    1. I didn’t know about such an app, but now I want to look for it. There have been times that I’ve wished I could send text message auto-replies, basically stating, “I can’t reply to your text right now…”

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