Open Thread: Does Anyone Talk on the Phone Anymore?

According to The New York Times, nobody talks on the phone anymore:

Sure, teenagers gave up the phone call eons ago. But I’m a long way away from my teenage years, back when the key rite of passage was getting a phone in your bedroom or (cue Molly Ringwald gasp) a line of your own.

In the last five years, full-fledged adults have seemingly given up the telephone — land line, mobile, voice mail and all. According to Nielsen Media, even on cellphones, voice spending has been trending downward, with text spending expected to surpass it within three years.

My longstanding feelings about telephone communications which I once categorized as “neuroses” are apparently now considered FACTS, even MANNERS.  In this article, Judith Martin, aka “Miss Manners,” says:

Thank you for noticing something that millions of people have failed to notice since the invention of the telephone until just now. I’ve been hammering away at this for decades. The telephone has a very rude propensity to interrupt people. [though the beast has been somewhat tamed by voice mail and caller ID, the phone caller still insists] that we should drop whatever we’re doing and listen to me.”

Yet I don’t feel phone communication has completely dissolved in quite the same way this article claims it has, but The New York Times is more or less notorious for writing ridiculous “trend pieces,” whether they’re announcing a trend three months after everyone else has or declaring, triumphantly, that a trend is not actually a trend.

However — some quotes that “ring true”:

“Phone calls from anyone other than immediate family tend to signal bad news.”

“You pretty much call people on the phone when you don’t understand their e-mail.”

“Phone call appointments have become common in the workplace. Without them, there’s no guarantee your call will be returned.”

“Heaven forbid you actually have to listen to voice mail… who doesn’t heave a huge sigh of relief to find there’s no voice mail? Is it worth punching in a protracted series of codes and passwords to listen to some three-hour-old voice say, “call me” when you could glance at caller ID and return the call — or better yet, e-mail back instead?”

Things this article says phones are:

1. Rude
2. Intrusive
3. Awkward
4. distressingly public when you’re working in door-free workplaces
5. disruptive

The piece dissolves slightly when the author claims that receiving calls on cell-phones when you do not have your phone on you and you live in a “home with stairs” is a “particular annoyance,” but other than that — some interesting points are made.

So read it. And let us know what you think. Do you talk on the phone less than you used to? Do you feel like it’s generational (regardless of what “generation” you’re in)?


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Riese

Riese is the 40-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in California. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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117 Comments

    • ^ This…to an extent. I have more Skype conversations with my significant other (often without video) than I do shared phone calls. For me, Skype is superior because it is indeed less constrictive and allows us to multi-task around the Internet (hello tumblr, with your shiny photos of baby animals and grrrls) or in rarer cases, actually do productive work while speaking. To a generational outsider, that might seem a bit inconsiderate to devote anything less than every second of focus to someone you’re dating, but it works. It’s the online equivalent of white noise, really. And I like me some white noise.

    • agreed. My girlfriend and I will talk with each other on the phone every night before bed (or during my overnights)just to be able to hear each other’s voices during the long periods when we don’t see each other. It definitely feels more intimate than just texting each other all day.

    • And not just the romantic kind of LDRs. My best friend and I built our friendship on hourlong phonecalls practically every evening in high school. Then she moved to the other side of the world. Long emails and IM conversations are not the same as the times when we call.

    • This was actually my least favorite part of long distance relationships. But also, my then gf loved to mind fuck me.and would call to say “I cheated on you. Sorry.” And then she would cry hysterically for two hours.

    • My ex and I had a very established LDR, and it was absolutely lovely to see her face at the end of the day. Unfortunately, as the relationship went downhill, the pleasant white-noise-esque joys of Skype turned into raging fights where you could actually see the other person’s face. And in a mutually passive-aggressive relationship, that’s no good at all.

      My girlfriend commented on this already. One phone call before bed beats the hell out of texting each other all day.

  1. I hate when people refuse to talk on the phone. Sometimes, I need to talk about something right away that’s too complicated for texting. Answer your phone when I call you. I would bother to call if it wasn’t important.

    In order to make communication with my mom easier, I taught her to text. It was a mistake. Now she texts me, in the form of letters, random stuff that she would never bother to call me about.

    • “Answer the phone when I call you.”
      Disagree. If it’s important, and you need to talk to me pronto, text me and ask me to call you. Tell me it’s an emergency and I’ll duck out of my meeting and call you back. You still get to talk to me on the phone, but I don’t have to pick up the phone at an inopportune moment. Nice.

      • My friends usually call twice if it is really important and then I know to duck out of a meeting.

        I am, of course, a hypocrite with my own phone. My friends complain that I don’t answer and I tell them I have my phone for me, not them, and I will use it how I want. It also doesn’t help that my phone is always on vibrate.

    • “I hate when people refuse to talk on the phone. Sometimes, I need to talk about something right away that’s too complicated for texting. Answer your phone when I call you. I would bother to call if it wasn’t important.”
      ^
      This is pretty much how I feel.

      On a sidenote, I talk to my mom over the phone a lot. She keeps me entertained during my down time and somehow we always have something to talk about. She lives in Mexico so I don’t really get to see her often at all.

      Also, I enjoy talking to my LD friends a lot too since I see them once a year, if that. I only tend to talk them on the phone once every few months and that’s for a few hours and it’s ok.

      Other than that, it doesn’t really bug me since I get calls so infrequently. Actually, there’s a friend of mine who’ll call me about whatever like twice or thrice a day which end up being a 1 or 2 min convos and it can be a little annoying. But I also think frequent texts can be annoying, esp. when I’m trying to study or sleep.

  2. I talked to a friend of three years the other day — we realized it was our first time ever speaking on the phone.

    I *so* agree with the tidbit about calling someone being rude in the sense that you expect them to be at your immediate disposal. Texts and emails are much better, you hear back when the person finds time for it.
    But sure, some situations require a phone call, it’s sometimes easier than a written back and forth.

    I still really hate phone calls.

  3. I seem to be incapable of keeping my phone near me. I can’t count how many times I’ve run into tables/chairs/people/walls while running to answer it. Every time the phone rings, I get a new bruise. (So please don’t call me.)

  4. I hate talking on the phone. Text messaging can become a tedious bore too. I rather face to face conversations. I want to see your reactions and make sure your listening to me.

    • agreed. i hate getting a text that simply says, “what’s up?” I won’t respond to that because I already know it’s going nowhere. I usually won’t respond unless i have to and when i’m done texting i put :) at the end and just stop responding. that may be bitchy, but i use the phone to make plans to actually see people, not to bullshit with them. not a lot happens in my life, so i like to save it for when i see your face.

      of course with my mom it’s different :)

    • ARE YOU ME.

      Once I started texting a lot, I had to change the text alert sound on my phone because otherwise I scare myself. Sometimes I still do, if the phone’s on a hard surface and vibrates.

      (my neuroses. let me show you them.)

  5. I’m one of very few people I know who don’t have texting. I hate it. Partially because it costs extra money with my plan, but mostly because it seems to be acceptable to text in places that you would never have a phone call. Like during a conversation (not interrupting, during, as though the texter can divide their attention while giggling at their cell phone) or during dinner. I find it allows for some incredible rudeness. We’ve been told, “Don’t answer you phone when you’re out at dinner; excuse yourself from the table.” In my experience, this does not apply to texting.

    I can understand the importance of texting as a medium of communication that I’ll eventually have to cave in to to keep up with the times, but I am really not looking forward to that day.

    I’m 23, but I don’t think that my opinion is remotely reflective of my generation.

    • I think it depends on the situation and who you are with. When I’m getting drinks and playing pool with a friend, we both check our phones and text while we talk and eat. But if they can’t put the phone down and are constantly texting then I get annoyed.

      • i feel like honestly the only situations where i’ve been glued to my phone has been when i’m in a relationship with a psychopath who will destroy me and accuse me of all kinds of ridiculous things if i’m not at their beck and call. so whenever anyone is glued to their phone and cannot possibly wait to text until later i am like WHAT’S GOING ON HERE

        in a perfect world i wish everyone would always put their phones away unless you’re alone, walking somewhere, sitting in a car with nobody saying anything, etc.

  6. Talking on the phone gives me crazy anxiety in a way that texting, facebook or face-to-face conversations don’t. I think it’s because you don’t have any time to plan out your words before you answer but at the same time you can’t see the person’s face to gauge how the conversation is going. So yeah, I call sometimes, like if I’m lost and driving or if you told to me call rather than text, but overall I HATE it and am extremely glad that texting exists.

  7. I only talk to my parents & my sister on the phone… I’ve never been a phone person, so I was obviously attached to text messages as soon as they were available. I’m pretty sure everyone knows just to text or tweet me now.

    Don’t even get me started on the inexplicable dread I feel when having to check my voicemail!

  8. In addition to family, I have ~3 close friends I can talk on the phone with [and have it be an enjoyable experience]. I also agree that calls out of the blue can be very disruptive, but if we make a “phone date,” I’m totally there.

    I think with any individual there are people you can “talk on the phone with” and then everyone else you know. YOU KNOW who your phone people are.

  9. Checking my voicemail makes me feel like I’m about to be ambushed. And I hate how people go on and on in it… ‘hi, how are you, just thought I’d call, umm, umm, huh, yeah, ok, call me later, bye.” I’d much rather have a text, where there’s less extraneous stuff and I can skim over it if necessary. And with my voice-messages I have to wait for the woman in the phone to be ready for me to move on to the next message or exit my voicemail. If I try to rush her, she ends up acting like I haven’t listened to my messages at all. (the incredible hardships of my life!!!)

    Also I pretty much don’t answer unknown numbers….

  10. I have an irrational fear of talking on the phone and I have no idea why, unless it’s my mum or sister ringing me I will probably not answer the phone and I will definitely not ring anyone back unless it is an absolute emergency or it’s something that can only be done over the phone….

  11. I was, for a very long time, a member of the “please don’t call me it’s too hard” school. Then I got a job where most of it is answering and processing information from phone calls, and now I’m much less afraid of it! I still don’t answer my cell phone about 80% of the time, but it’s mostly just my mom empty-nesting.

    I do still find the phone intrusive and disruptive and awkward and public. I think there’re judicious ways to use it: urgent stuff, catching people off guard so they tell you the truth, and confidential information like credit card numbers.

  12. I am definitely from an older generation than the avg AS reader, so take that for what it is worht Here is my take:

    1. No one is making you answer your phone. If you don’t want to answer, don’t answer. That is a you problem, not about the caller.

    2. Turn your phone on vibrate when you are in public if you dont want to be “embarrassed” or intruded upon when otherwise busy. Again, this is about you…not the caller.

    3. I think this uncofomfortableness with phone conversations is somewhat reflective of a lag in interpersonal, verbal communications skills. While this is somewhat saddening, the writing skills and personal expression of younger generations via text is impessive.

    • Absolutely, yes, this:

      “1. No one is making you answer your phone. If you don’t want to answer, don’t answer. That is a you problem, not about the caller.
      2. Turn your phone on vibrate when you are in public if you dont want to be ’embarrassed’ or intruded upon when otherwise busy. Again, this is about you…not the caller.”

    • You said a lot of what I wanted to say. I really don’t understand where people get the idea that the caller is assuming they are free. If I call someone on the phone (and I frequently call people on the phone) I assume that they will only answer if it is a convenient time for them.
      I’m 24. As much anxiety as phone communication can cause me, I’ll take it over email and texting. I have many friends who live in different parts of the country. Some I talk to on the phone more than once a week. If I call and someone isn’t there, I leave a message and tell them to get back to me when they can. If somebody calls me and I’m busy or just not feeling up to talking, I let them leave a message.
      I think everything you said is correct. If somebody interprets my calling them on the phone as my expecting them to be at my beck and call, that’s really their problem.

  13. I am not a fan of phoning due to one factor; I am deaf. So I want to thank the person who invented the system of texting. In a way, she/he’s like a goddess/god for me and millions of people with hearing loss.

  14. I’m in a long-distance relationship (and several accompanying long-distance friendships) so I talk on the phone a LOT. There’s skype too of course, but the phone is better/nicer in some ways.

    It doesn’t have to be intrusive anymore, in my opinion; I just text them and ask them to call me when they can get away from whatever they’re doing.

  15. My number one complaint is that voicemail still automatically has a 94 minute-long message that goes “you’ve reached the voicemail box of 935-493-4937, to leave a voice message please wait for the tone. To send a numeric page, press one. To send an urgent message press two. For more options press three. etc. etc. etc.” I call around 200 people at work every day (I’m not a telemarketer! I’m a maitre d’) and by the time I get to the 3rd voicemail or so I want to strangle that voice. Also what is a numeric page?

  16. The only people who call me on the phone for random conversation (as opposed to specific arrangements) are my musty grandmothers, and somehow it has conditioned me – I suddenly look up and find myself dialing their numbers (with nothing to say!) once in a while.

    However, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a generational thing, because my young, teenaged sister talks on the phone (landline or cell phone) all the time, to numerous people her age. She does this while texting and facebooking and chatting and whatevering, but still.

    Then again, I’m from Central America, and I think our geographical position leaves us with a constant influx of differing ‘trends’ and, therefore, in perpetual state of confusion (which side should we follow? who are we? what is our meaning?).

  17. I am terrified of speaking to people on the phone, especially if I don’t know them well. I can’t understand what they’re saying, we constantly accidentally speak over each other, and I have no idea what they’re thinking due to a lack of facial or even vocal cues, since voices turn nearly robotic over the phone. I also associate talking on the phone with awful things like strangers from some office calling to tell me I need to do something (which is boring and usually a pain) or the bane of human existence, customer service where I listen to terrible songs like “My Heart Will Go On” or something of the sort.

    Yes, Celine Dion, I know that your evil, evil voice will go on forever and ever while I hold waiting for customer service, even if you do somehow disappear off the face of the earth.

  18. I guess I’m old school.

    1) Face-to-face
    2) Phone
    3) Text
    4) Facebook (either message or wall depending on the privacy of the information)
    5) Email

    I also really like snail mail and surprise notes left on my vehicle, desk, etc (like on actual paper!), but I understand that’s not really practical.

    I want to hear your voice. And I’d really like to see your beautiful face. If there are two ways to interpret a typed message, I will always assume the angry option unless I can hear your tone / cues. Plus, I have always have a long, ridiculous story to tell, and typing it all makes me want to break things.

    • I looooove sending / receiving letters & am doing my best to keep the dream alive.

      Also, w/r/t voicemails – it always takes me FOREVER to leave a voicemail bc they have that option where I can change it. But I’ll always leave an amusing message at least – just to make it worth it.

  19. Last week my friend’s phone died so she had to get a new one. When the guy was looking at her phone records he told her that there were over 4,000 texts between us. I’m not sure what the time frame was, but still you guys. STILL. Most of the texts are legit, but sometimes the conversation = “Ugggghhhh” “I know”. We rarely call to talk though. The last time we talked on the phone was a couple of days ago when she called to ask me to get her a drink before last call. So…yeah.

    I don’t mind talking on the phone though. But texting allows me to multi-task which I like to do. Skype = preferred method other than texting/email. If someone calls & I don’t want to talk, I just don’t answer. Nbd.

  20. I loathe talking on the phone. I’ll talk to my father, because he lives in a different country, though he does now have Skype so I may suggest that. Beyond that I’m all about the text message, the e-mail and the Skype.

    I just hate the social insecurity of wondering if I’m interrupting someone in the middle of something. My ex and I used to schedule phone calls because we both had the same fear.

  21. Talking on the phone irritates me. I always worry I’m going to run out of things to say and the conversation will be filled with awkward silences, but I won’t have a proper excuse to say “bye”.
    I especially hate when the conversation is in English because then I also get nervous about not being able to understand the person I’m talking to. The more nervous I get, the faster I speak and my accent just becomes really weird and hard to comprehend.

  22. I prefer texting and talking online, because (as some others have mentioned), there isn’t that awkwardness of not being able to see the other person’s reaction and having to say something on the spot. I think there are some things that are pretty impossible to talk about with texting etc. though, and in those cases I think it’s completely acceptable – if not necessary, almost – to call or talk face-to-face.

  23. Hi,
    I LOATHE talking on the phone anymore. I get totally insecure when I have to make a phone call, and that’s sad because I grew up in the generation mentioned above where I begged my parents for a phone in my bedroom. However, now, I’ve gotten so used to texting, facebook, emailing that I don’t like talking on the phone. In addition if I’m texting I can continue my life – watching TV, doing my chores, taking care of my kids, etc. which isn’t easy to do when you are actually ON the phone.

    When my phone DOES ring – I’ll answer if it’s convenient, if it’s not I don’t; I’m in no way a slave to my phone and hope I never will be. Also, I do not return a call if a voice mail is not left because I will assume if it was important you would have left a voice mail. If it’s an emergency my friends and family know to text me asking me to call and I’ll call immediately so that works for us.

    All in all – this blabbing means that I hate the phone, I’ll call if I have too, I’ll answer if I feel like it, otherwise texting is a better way to get a response from me quicker!! :)

  24. Talk to family by phone 2 to 3 times a week, but friends and everyone else pretty much text or email. If I want to spend time talking with friends, I prefer to do it eye to eye where I can see their expressions and I am not in to webcams etc. Family is further away and frankly, not that tech savvy. My mother can barely work her cordless phone, let alone a cell phone with texting.

    Texting is incredibly efficient, I can organize 4 friends, all in different locations, for a night out at the movies in under a minute (provided they have their iphones turned on and they almost always do).

    What I can’t stand is the text “I am standing in line for coffee now…” I put an end to it pretty quickly with a curt reply “why should I give a fxxx”. They’ve learned….

  25. I’ve never liked the phone. I have a cellphone for texting purposes only, and I almost never answer it – mostly because the moment I got a cell, I also started getting “I called you earlier but you didn’t pick up!” calls, and people were getting genuinely annoyed at me even though I called them back as soon as I could. There’s only so much I can do when I’m asleep/in a crowded bar/getting a haircut/underwater/at work/some or all of these things, you know? I guess I just like being able to hold conversations at my leisure, rather than feeling obligated to answer whenever someone calls.

    Mostly I just don’t like talking, though! Comfortable silences are my favourite part of conversations, and silences on the phone are never comfortable.

  26. i miss being in high school, sneaking the house phone into my room and staying up all night long talking to either a girl that gave me the butterflies or a friend that would listen to me talk about the girl who gave me butterflies.

  27. Personally, I have tremendous phone anxiety. I don’t know why. I just hate phones and feel awkward.

    My friends know this about me and only call in times of emergency or to quickly plan something without the back-and-forth of texts. BUT we’re also in college and I never even go a week without seeing them.

  28. I guess I’m on the other end of the spectrum, I hate excessive texting. If it’s just a quick note or question, texting makes sense. But if you’re going to have to text back and forth more than once or twice…just call. It’s silly otherwise. It’s inefficient, and it’s more pleasant to have a real conversation with your friends (despite phone anxiety), and also I don’t have an unlimited texting plan because I’d rather spend my money on getting coffee with you.

  29. i kind of hate the phone and talking on it but i’m pretty sure that’s because i generally dislike interacting with other people, not a ‘sign of the times.’ when i was ten i would throw a fit if my mother tried to make me order the pizza. #truestory

  30. I rarely answer my phone to my friends unless it’s preplanned and I have a convenient time slot because once we start talking, I look up and realise i’ve spent three hours (and lots of money) reminiscing, talking about things that really don’t matter and crying with laughter. And oh yeah, i’ve just missed an essay deadline. But you can’t beat phone calls with you’re best friends. =]

  31. i don’t mind talking on the phone, as long as it’s short. talking on the phone for long periods of time is distracting and annoying, i’d rather “catch up” face-to-face. except if it’s long distance then face-to-skype.

    i also hate having conversations with text messages. email is my preferred method of communication, mostly because it can be really long or really short, and it’s okay if you don’t respond within 5 minutes of receiving it.

  32. I don’t think phone conversation is dying out, I certainly see a lot of people on their phones on the street and in cafes and things.

    I don’t mind talking on the phone, I just really dislike calling people? I get very anxious when I hear the phone ringing from my end and I’m waiting for them to pick up.

    I really really dislike voicemail though, I always make my answering machine say its broken even when its not so people won’t leave me messages. I used to get like twenty or something before I’d finally give in and listen to them all.

  33. I don’t know about phone calls, but if you plug one of those old school pickup coils that was used for wire tapping landline phones into an amp, it receives ambient electromagnetic waves, and the amp converts them into sounds you can hear.

    Get a teeny portable amp that has a headphones jack. Plug headphones into it and hook it to the pickup coil. Go to a city with this and sit on the subway. You will hear the electromagnetic waves emanating from different parts of the train, like the motors that open and close the doors. If you hold the coil up to a computer that is booting up, it makes wild bleeps and bloops. A neon sign transformer makes a high pitched sound.

    pickup coil:

    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103876

    portable amp:

    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062620

    You could find them for cheaper, but at least you see what they are.

    If it weren’t for phone calls we wouldn’t have pickup coils, so that is what good they are.

  34. i find there’s so much room for misinterpretation in purely texting/emailing though, no amount of winking emoticons will replace deadpan tone of voice.

    i also hate voicemail (and disabled it on my phone) so if i can’t answer people will text me. and vice versa even if voicemail is an option, no one ever checks that shit.

  35. I think if every time I called someone I would be immediately informed of their location, their mood, how many people they are with and the amount of time they have for a phone call, i would feel a lot better. i think the only thing i prefer about g-chat is that you know where the other person is — in front of their computer.

    i would prefer going to a doctors office and making an appointment face-to-face with the desk person to calling for an appointment.

    however:
    – fighting should never happen on g-chat or texting or email, fighting is for the phone (partially like — i think having all that on record is actually a terrible terrible thing. people say crazy things in fights which shouldn’t exist in an archive forever)
    – i prefer face-to-face above all else
    – i talk to my mom on the phone
    – i’ve started talking on the phone a lot more lately because i am so sick of writing emails because i write so many emails and am always looking at my computer

  36. i much prefer face to face over anything, but sometimes that cant happen, so phone calling is nice. texts are good for short things, ie. will you please pick up some milk on your way home…
    that being said, when someone who lives near to me wants to talk to me, they need not call, for i have a signal they shine into the sky that resembles a beercan/bottle/keg informing me that a)they need to talk to me, and b) there is beer. im so there.

  37. I talk on the phone! I prefer talking to texting, though I do much more texting than talking because it’s just what everyone else seems to prefer. And I can do it at work – oops.

    But for reals, texting is so damn obnoxious. It takes a million years to work out something like when and where to meet for lunch when you could do it in 30 seconds over the phone. And it’s expensive. And honestly, I’m just really bad at it. My phone is not set up for texting and I have to think really hard about how to spell everything with T9.

    I talk to my mom and brother on the phone. And my girlfriend every few days, even though we live in the same town, because we’re always busy and don’t see each other much. For long-distance friends I prefer skype just because I miss seeing their faces. Actually, I wish skype would be a bigger thing because I want to see the faces of people I love.

  38. I finally realized I hit rock-bottom with texting when I had to text the person with whom I was interviewing last week.

    I only did this as a last resort because it was at a major hair trade show with thousands of people, I had traveled far, and she didn’t return my scheduled call after four tries 30 minutes later.

    SO I sent a text and – POOF – phone call 10 seconds later asking which door I was waiting at. The strangest thing was her texting me that evening asking how my hair turned out! Weeeeeird!

    ALSO those $25 virgin mobile plans?! y’all should look into it! pretty fantastic!

  39. I hate talking on the phone, it’s all awkward pauses and I never have anything to say (or if I do, it doesn’t take long to cover it all and then it quickly becomes awkward pauses). Texting is much easier, it’s short and to the point and it’s more convenient, I can answer when I have time to reply. I also don’t answer calls from numbers I don’t recognize, they can leave a voicemail (surprisingly, I have no issues with checking voicemail – I actually tend to prefer it cause then I don’t have to actually talk to another person).

    Every couple weeks I talk to my mom and my brother on the phone and that’s about the only time I call someone.

  40. oh also most of my phone anxiety is cellphone-specific and has gotten worse since the invention of cellphones.

    i feel comfortable calling someone on a home line or office line because i know exactly where they are and what they’re doing and if they answer it, it’s cause they have time to talk, not because they’re like in the Holland Tunnel and will cut out in a second or are having lunch with someone else who probably wishes they weren’t answering the phone

  41. Funny we’re having this discussion because I got these texts today. FYI it was the wrong number and Monica said she was sorry. I feel like this is something that should be handled by phone and not text. Especially not a text with typos / spelling errors.

    “Dawan or Erica, Your accouunt is $720 past due. In order to avoid repossession, you must pay in full or contact me today at [number]. Can you bring t…

    …he car back or do I have to get a repo company to find you and take it? Monica from Brenner Car Credit.”

  42. Ok I used to hate texting. But that’s because it cost me like, 20 cents a text and because I wasn’t used to it yet.

    BUT NOW. OKAY GUYS. I am also one of those phone anxiety people. My mother used to make me call people a LOT when I was a tween/teenager (make this appointment, cancel this appointment, see if this person can give you a ride home). OH GOD. FUCKING TERRIFYING. Thankfully I am now capable of scheduling an appointment or placing a to go order via phone (but now I’m on anxiety drugs and when I was 12 I was not…also I lived with my mother, which probably contributed strongly to anxiety).

    But I can shoot a quick text to a friend, often something that doesn’t require immediate reply, and not worry about interrupting them! HOW COOL IS THAT?! Because let’s face it, texts you can ignore for at least a few minutes, but phone calls you’re supposed to answer. Unless they’re Mom, in which case you let it ring for a bit and then hit “ignore”.

    (I haven’t talked to my parents in months but trust me, they deserve it).

    My point is, I talk on the phone for only a few things:
    1. Appointments/takeout food (I have a Thai addiction)
    2. Talking to my sister/bff/occasional other faraway friends
    3. Calling a friend when you’re in the car and can’t find where you’re supposed to be going (this happens a lot)

    and guys, that’s like, 90% of my phone talking right there.

    I’m sorry I said “ok” and “guys” and “okay guys” a lot in this reply, but I haven’t been sleeping and I have a massive assignment due tomorrow. GRAD SCHOOL MADNESS.

  43. “3. Calling a friend when you’re in the car and can’t find where you’re supposed to be going (this happens a lot)”

    YESSSSSS! This happens to me all the time. Or if a friend moves into a new apartment & I think I know which door to go to but I really don’t.

  44. Going in a different direction here but I feel like I talk less on my cell phone because a lot of my good friends from way back when and with whom I would talk to all the time on my cell phone are moving/getting jobs out of state, getting married, or having kids. This is probably just me though. Speaking of generational, texting for me is simply an extension of AIM. I remember chatting on AIM being the thing to do in middle school and part of high school until everyone got cell phones in junior year.

  45. I suffer from phone anxiety. Whenever, well if my phone ever rings it sets me on edge, I freeze and panic, like why are they calling me, what am I going to say, what if I can’t make conversation etc…it’s a relief to know I’m not alone in this. But having said that there are a few close people who I can talk for hours on the phone. I’ve tried to conker my fear and even phoned a girl I met online, I thought it was going to be the shortest call everrr and embarrassingly nearly was, but 2 hours later we were still chatting, didn’t cure me, but I felt chuffed with myself!

  46. The only people who ever call my landline are my partner’s parents. My parents use Skype, although most of our communication is via email/Facebook/Gtalk.

    I think I have a slightly different perspective on this because a lot of the people I care about, I *can’t* talk to face-to-face because I live on a different continent and there’s a big stupid Pacific Ocean in the way. But I still don’t talk on the phone much – I’m another person with text anxiety, and since I live on the Internet, I’m pretty sure I type faster than I talk anyway.

    I don’t even use my mobile phone to text, though. The majority of what I use my phone for is Internet-related. I even use Gtalk to send messages to my partner’s phone (it’s more reliable than text messages on Virgin Mobile, lol).

  47. I have to agree with people on here, there is nothing like a phone call when you are in a long distance relationship. I love texting my gf but at the end of the day if we don’t talk to each other on the phone, it feels like we haven’t talked all day.

  48. I also hate the phone. My mobile only has my mum, my friend, home and balance stored so I always answer if it rings but the house phone I’ll only answer if it goes onto answer phone and it’s either mum or a call I’m expecting in which case I do answer although with people other than mum I use the ‘I was in the bathroom’ excuse for why if went to answer phone.

    I don’t really text much any more either, not since I was about 12 or 13 (I’m 20 now). I prefer to Facebook people although their notification system is a bit shitty.

  49. OK I’m techno challenged but from what I see there is far more picture taking, game playing, texting, e-mail checking and internet exploring on these “phones” than talking. There is just nothing that compares to listening to my lover’s sexy voice over my l’il ole LG.

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