Thursday, 28 October 2010

The phone is not my friend

I don't like the phone, and I don't really know why.

It's fine in a work setting, part and parcel of our day to day.

In my home life, I don't like it. I put off calling people. I put off answering or returning calls. I haven't had a land line for four years now.

It doesn't feel like a thing I want to do, call people that is. I email, I send cards, I arrange to meet folk by text message and see them face to face.

As a teenager I spent hours on the phone, often to people I'd seen a few short moments before. When did my aversion to the phone appear? I'm not certain.

There are a very small handful of people I actively call. Even then, I prefer to call them rather than be caught out. I don't mind if it's a purely practical thing, but the notion of calling just to chat isn't something I enjoy.

I never quite figured it out. It's impossible to read people in the same way as it is face to face, but the same can be said of email.

A ringing phone should be a nice surprise or an opportunity to catch up with someone you haven't seen for a while. Instead it just seems intrusive. In a world of mobile technology calls can be screened, and I do.

Boyfriends seem to be the exception to this. There's a excitement in getting to know someone, knowing chat is just chat. Knowing they want to talk to you. Knowing you can do just that, and nothing else. There is an anticipation or, further down the line, comfort in hearing the voice of someone you want to be close to.

Despite my reluctance to communicate this way, I've just spent an hour chatting a friend and it was lovely.


  1. With phone calls, you only have the voice to go on - you can't see them, know what they are up to, or read their expressions. Yes this is true of email and texts, but with email and texts, you are not interacting with them in real time.

    So it's about insecurity. They might be pulling funny faces or making gestures on the other side of the phone; they might be making fools of us and we don't know. And that's a yucky thought.

    But we're more secure with good friends, so can let go of that fear once we get chatting.

    And as for new partners, well, we have fun imagining their expressions and gestures... ;)

  2. Hmmm....hadn't looked at it like that....and I'm not sure I agree. Will ponder,