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Why we hate the phone

Fellow phone-call haters, have you seen this article?

I agreed with most of the points (not so much the slow-thinking one, though for any serious talk I do prefer to have some mental prep time), but I especially related to this bit:


2. Most phone calls are chit-chatty rather than deep. And we all agree: introverts don't like chit-chat. I have one friend who starts every call by asking, "Whatcha you doin'?" I have no idea how to answer, except with "Nuthin'" or "Workin'" or "Cleaning the schumtz out of my computer keyboard." And I can't imagine that any of these answers could interest her, so the call immediately feels awkward.



[edit] I certainly don't mind discussing introvert/extrovert things, but I didn't mean for this to become the main focus of the topic - for one thing, I disagree with the article's premise that "introverts hate talking on the phone!" and "extroverts love talking on the phone!" I used to have a paralyzing fear of calling anyone, but it wasn't because I was an introvert ... it was because I was shy (not the same thing!) and had some irrational fears.

Carry on!

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( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
spotzle
Apr. 11th, 2013 09:33 pm (UTC)
Ooo that's perfect. Number 4 definitely stood out for me.
mrsm2010
Apr. 11th, 2013 10:18 pm (UTC)
I have mixed feelings about "introverted" things. On one hand, being an introvert, I can really relate. It's who we are.
Then, on the other, I feel like some qualities are promoted in a certain light, when they are really weaknesses too. I sometimes wish articles pushed a little harder on that. So, while I loathe chit-chat and small talk, I've tried to be more conscious about pushing myself to get better at it. It's unfair for my personality or desires to always dominate relationships, but I also have to stay true to myself. It's a fine line to walk! I've learned that there are plenty of things to say to a blah question. Usually all it takes is a little expanding or openness to move the conversation away from awkward, into something a little more authentic. I think part of the problem is that introverts don't feel very willing to elaborate on things that don't interest them, and they are usually private, but that isn't very charitable or transparent, which are two qualities relationships require. So, instead of being fine with avoiding and dismissing everything non-introverted, I instead wish the introverted traits could be explained and accepted, but then also have more accountability and guidance in how to make the traits of introverts more well-developed for the positive all around.
eattheolives
Apr. 11th, 2013 11:10 pm (UTC)
Absolutely! (see my edit to the post. :)) I would rather cut through the chit-chat time with a good friend and get down to a real conversation, but casual conversation is a large part of good manners in society and using "I'm introverted/shy/just don't care" is not a good excuse. I know I have to push myself sometimes (depending on my mood and current level of introversion) to make that kind of filler conversation, and I often look back later and realize that I let someone else carry the conversational load ... I am working on that. =\

However, I DO hate being asked "watcha doin'?" :D
mrsm2010
Apr. 11th, 2013 11:22 pm (UTC)
That is a good point in your edit about other things, like shyness, coming into play under the general notion of "introversion" - very true!

And, yeah, the "watcha doin'?" question is very perplexing. LOL
aftondays
Apr. 11th, 2013 11:57 pm (UTC)
Ditto to all!
singersdd
Apr. 11th, 2013 10:46 pm (UTC)
I agree. The only person I really talk to successfully on the phone is Mom. Only because it's MOM. Or my best friend, but those conversations last HOURS.
(Deleted comment)
eattheolives
Apr. 11th, 2013 11:14 pm (UTC)
I am so glad there are people like you! I literally would never think to call anyone ever (just to chat, I mean), so the world definitely needs people that DO like it!

But it seems like you agree with me on chit-chat, and that's awesome too. :)

Btw, I definitely don't think extroverts are insensitive! I hope I've never given that impression. Or if they are (because all humans are, sometimes), they are no more insensitive than introverts. I often realize later that I let someone else carry the conversational burden, for instance. =\
(Deleted comment)
aftondays
Apr. 11th, 2013 11:53 pm (UTC)
Oh man, #4 is spot on! And I also dislike the fact that I can't see the person's face and read their expressions and body language. I feel like a fish out of water. Haaaate.
(Deleted comment)
modernelegance
Apr. 12th, 2013 01:11 am (UTC)
I used to have a paralyzing fear of calling anyone, but it wasn't because I was an introvert ... it was because I was shy (not the same thing!) and had some irrational fears

SO THERE ARE MORE OF US?? I LOATHE talking on the phone! It didn't used to be so bad, but I get anxiety just calling people. My current job has forced me to call more people (well really talk on the phone more in general) but I still get weird anxiety over calling people. I used to pay my brother to call Dell tech support for me. That is how much I hated talking on the phone. I don't think it is an. Introvert thing as it is...there is some underlying fear with mine. (In high school I used to call friends no problem, now? I desire emails but I ADORE face to face interactions. Weird huh?)
eattheolives
Apr. 15th, 2013 01:47 am (UTC)
The weird thing is that I have always loved ANSWERING the phone. It's just the calling that I hate. =P I'm still not a huge fan of long phone conversations (I'd rather email a friend than have a phone call) but I honestly don't mind answering if someone calls me first. Doing the calling has gotten a lot easier (yay job that forces you to use the phone!) but I'd still rather not.

And yes ... my mother has done an awful lot of my business calls for me over the years. =P But hey, she talked my credit card out of charging me a late payment fee, and I'm pretty sure I couldn't have pulled that off. ;)
belovedwarrior
Apr. 12th, 2013 01:44 am (UTC)
Too hard to type all my thoughts on a phone. How 'bout I just call you..?

Kiiiiiiiiding!
eattheolives
Apr. 15th, 2013 01:47 am (UTC)
:D As long as YOU call ME ... see my comment above about answering the phone. ;)
adventurat
Apr. 12th, 2013 02:54 am (UTC)
I used to love talking on the phone, back before the internet, and before talking on the phone was a part of my job. Since then... not so much. And I hate when people call just to chat. Even when it's my mom, though I love my mom. I just can't keep my head in the conversation when there's other stuff going on. I should take a page from that article and play video games while I talk to her.
eattheolives
Apr. 15th, 2013 01:49 am (UTC)
I kind of hate calling my mom when I'm traveling (she has this weird idea that I should actually check in now and then and let her know I'm not dead or something. ;)) It takes her FOREVER to get to the point and I really wish she'd just email!
elvenjaneite
Apr. 12th, 2013 03:00 pm (UTC)
Number 4 comes the closest to capturing my feelings about phones. It's one more thing that I have to deal with and it's too abstracted; I often have trouble focusing and capturing the essence of the other person's communication. So for me, it's less a selfish "I don't like it!" thing and more that I don't communicate well over the phone--it's not real enough, somehow.
eattheolives
Apr. 15th, 2013 01:51 am (UTC)
Words will always be our forte, amirite?
exlibris_sarah
Apr. 12th, 2013 03:13 pm (UTC)
I can SO relate to most of these points. I was actually just thinking about this the other day, and how I feel some guilt that I so frequently avoid phone calls. But the I was thinking about how phones are new, in the grand scheme of things, and it doesn't make sense in the current day and age that they should be considered the best way to communicate. Think of how many businesses are now using email, text, even chat, to do business, and how many relationships do well that way, too, when they can't be maintained face to face. True, phones allow for a more immediate communication, some times, but other times you just play phone tag and that uses time and energy that could otherwise be used elsewhere. I don't know, maybe I'm trying to justify my stance on things, but I can't help but think that phone conversations are less of a social and cultural necessity these days. People used to communicate by letter, then phone, now in so many and various ways. I don't think I need to feel guilt over avoiding phone calls (unless it's just straight up rude and ignoring a request from someone else to call them back, etc.). Am I totally off on this thinking? Honestly, when I was thinking this through, I felt relieved.
violetvale
Apr. 12th, 2013 03:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I feel this way, too.
eattheolives
Apr. 15th, 2013 01:52 am (UTC)
Those are some really good points! When you put it that way, email and texts really do seem closer to an older way of communicating than phone calls.
ransomedsea
Apr. 12th, 2013 03:38 pm (UTC)
I think now that my entire job is calling people and chit-chatting for at least half an hour, I've become really "ehh" about it. I don't go out of my way to do it, but I don't mind answering even unknown numbers now. I think working as a secretary and now working as a teacher by phone, it's just become so commonplace.

I will say, though, I do have to do something to occupy the restless part of my mind, even when teaching. Otherwise, I totally zone out. This isn't a problem with friends, of course, but with students? Uh, yeah.
eattheolives
Apr. 15th, 2013 01:54 am (UTC)
I've never minded answering - just calling. Answering the phone is like playing a game of "what's behind door #3?" Calling is just ick, for whatever reason.

I doodle a lot while on the phone. And I tend to write what I'm saying as I'm saying it, especially when telling people how to spell my name. Heh.
chestnutcurls
Apr. 12th, 2013 07:50 pm (UTC)
I liked the phone when I was a teenager, but now that written communication is so accessible, I've kind of lost my chit-chatty phone skills. I especially don't like the phone at work, because 90% of the people I talk to are either 1) people with thick accents who speak poor English or 2) lawyers who will try to intimidate and pin me down on things that I almost always need to research first. E-mail is just so much easier.
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )