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In defence of the phone-haters club

Fat Mum Slim /


Last night I shared an article on Facebook that I read and thought was quite funny, and true. I went to bed straight after and didn’t think much of it. At 2am Luella woke for a few hours, so I checked my phone and the share had exploded. Lots of passionate opinions and views were shared. This is the article {click the image to read it}.

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 7.40.27 amIn brief, the writer, Ben, doesn’t like phone calls. He says, if you need him, email first. Then try SMS but please don’t call unless it’s a crisis {like not knowing what sandwich topping to order. Major crisis!}. And definitely do not call after 5pm. EVER.

Before I get back to the article, let’s talk about when we were kids. Or when I was kid, because I don’t know exactly how old you are. We had a home phone, that was it. It didn’t have an answering machine, or a screen to show who was calling. If you called us and we were home, we picked it up and talked. Simple. You went to the shops or anywhere for that matter, and you weren’t contactable. You went to meet someone and you just hoped they turned up on time because you had no way of contacting them. If you had to send something really, really important, you could fax it, but most of the time you sent things via the post. Things were simple.

Then I reached my late teens and we got mobiles and emails and text messages. As the years passed, so did the ability to go anywhere without being texted, emailed or called.

When I checked my phone at 2am this morning, I also noticed I had a text message. “Hey. I was going to call you for a chat tonight, but I saw your thing on Facebook! Ha.” So I thought I better write a post so that people still call me, or at least feel like they can call me. What have I started?

Back to the article. Benjamin is a humour writer. There’s a bit of tongue-in-cheek in that article. He’s not going to actually murder people if they call after 5pm. I sincerely hope not anyway.

There are always going to be people that like talking on the phone, and those that like text messages and emails. I like a mix. In my early twenties I struggled with being contactable all the time. I was a big ‘yes’ person, so it was hard to have people {usually people wanting me to babysit as I was a nanny} calling me all the time asking for me to do things.

I’m a really annoying friend to have. I eventually moved from struggling with the changes in availability that mobile phones brought, to having a phone that was more for my convenience than for everyone else. Yes, I’m contactable 24/7, but it just doesn’t mean I’m going to answer straight away.

Hubby on the other hand, is the kind of friend everyone wants. He’ll answer EVERY SINGLE CALL. He rings his friends all the time for good chats. And he even calls his mum regularly to check up on her. Admittedly, he does seem to have more spare time than I do.

He can’t stand to see how many missed calls I have, or unread text messages or emails. It stresses him out, majorly.

I don’t think people should be contactable all the time. I think we have to learn to manage it. If you’re having a nice dinner with friends, don’t take a call. People can wait. And they should. I have a baby, and I work from home {not complaining, both choices I happily made} but I get just 2 hours of sleeping-baby time each day that I jam pack with work and housework each day. I can’t spend time chatting about the weather, unfortunately. I don’t like to talk while driving {hands-free of course, when I do} so that time is out too. I do call my friends and family, and take business calls though, when I can and it suits throughout the day. They’re not much fun for either party though. Usually Luella is trying to grab the phone from my hand {or kindly screams down the phone line}, and if you’ve got kids you know taking a phone call sends a signal to small children’s brains to cause havoc.

It’s not the friends and family phone calls that I’m really talking about. I will get to you or get back to you, but it might take a while to find a good time. Luella will grow and it will get easier. SMS is quicker if you need me, and easier to wrangle in between things. Definitely {how good is iMessage from your computer?}.

So yes you can call me. Yes, I like hearing from you. But please know that my phone is always on silent, and is often misplaced down the crack in the lounge or at the bottom of the toy box, and I might not answer you straight away. Or the next time you call either. Text is best, and email is good too. I’m not a great communicator, but it doesn’t mean I love you any less. It’s just who I am. I’d much prefer if we organised a time to catch-up and talk face-to-face. I quite like that.

What’s your relationship with your phone like?
Image credit: Thom Weerd