Maybe it’s just me, but I’m done with the phone call. Beep me if you wanna reach me but do not dial my number and try and call me. We’re in an age where instant messaging is so accessible, so easy, so simple; why do you need to call me?
I’m sorry if this is harsh but when you ring me there is really only one possible scenario: I’ll ignore it. Usually, I’ll have to stop scrolling through my Facebook or Instagram feed while I wait for the phone to ring out and your name to stop popping up on my screen. Afterwards, I’ll make up some lame excuse about how I ‘just missed your call’ even though my phone has been glued to my hand since 2008. I know I’m lying, you know I’m lying, so how about we agree just to hit each other up with a text in future.
I’ll admit, there’s exceptions to this rule. If we’re scheduled to call each other for work related purposes, I’m obliged to answer. If you’re my mum and this is the tenth time you’ve tried to call I’ll probably have to answer if I ever want to return home alive. Once upon a time I answered phone calls from my family members who I thought were too old to get a handle on modern messaging techniques. But since my Nan has gotten Facebook and mastered the Messenger app, I’m getting rid of this exception. If a seventy seven year old can grasp the power of instant messages and emojis, everyone else can too.
Other than those rare occurrences just give it up. I don’t want to go through the awkward small talk at the start of the call where we ask how the other is going before we get down to the nitty gritty. I don’t want to tangent into a catch up of what’s been happening since we saw each other last; save it till we see each other next (which, by the way, can be conveniently organised via text). I’m not saying I don’t enjoy talking to you, I probably love hearing your voice in person. But a phone call is too much.
Maybe, sometimes, once in a blue moon, a call is easier. Sometimes I do want to catch up with you and the forty minute drive home is a pretty perfect time to squeeze a chat in. Occasionally the back and forth of texting is getting so long and tedious that there is no end in sight. Every now and then I need to know something ASAP. But in each of these cases, a text before the call can usually save us from a train wreck of a conversation.
It’s the spontaneity of the phone call that is so annoying. A phone call is like turning up to my house unannounced when I’m already in my pyjamas and have cocooned myself in a fort of blankets in preparation for a night of Netflix. Or jumping in front of my car just as I’m pulling out of the driveway and asking if I want to come in for a coffee. The answer is no, I don’t have time for this shit.
And if it’s not a good time for both of us then it’s going to be a terrible call. Chances are the conversation will feel awkward because one of us (me) doesn’t really want to talk. You might take it personally and assume I don’t like you as a person which isn’t true (although, if calling people is your main form of communication maybe we need to revaluate our relationship). And when you (chances are it’ll be you because, as we’ve established, I hate phone calls) stop carrying the conversation there will be the awkward period of trying to end the call, with neither of us wanting to be rude.
So I’m calling it- the phone call is dead. Text me. Facebook me. Send me smoke signals if you’re really desperate. But please don’t call me.