Do Not Call Me Maybe (But You May Text Me)

Perhaps it is my cultural background that prevents me from voluntarily picking up the ringing phone. After all Finland, the country famous for its introverts, was the first to introduce text messaging as an alternative for phone calling. There is, however, a reason for me to suspect that my phobia for phone calls isn’t only explained by my cultural heritage and instead the problem may lie in my demographic.

Compared to text messaging, phone calling has certain disadvantages. Unlike calling, texting allows the person some time to formulate and edit his message. It also doesn’t require the caller and the receiver to be simultaneously in favourable circumstances; the both should have to be able be in a place where calls are allowed and the volume should be enough quiet for them to be able to hear each other without problem. Additionally, both phones should have a relatively good reception.

Then again, calling can be cheaper and more profitable if the caller needs an immediate answer. Instead of ending the conversation within minutes, the texting discourse may last even a couple of days. Many people enjoy the social interaction provided by calling as it allows the caller to hear the voice of the recipient and the real-time conversation lets the language flow more naturally (in some cases).

The polls (like this one from Time from 2012) reveal what many may have suspected: the youth text more than the old. Unfortunately these polls say little or nothing about the amount of texting in relation to calling. But it appears I’m not the only one displaying utter dislike for a ringing device. Whenever I explain my problem I’m often not confronted with sympathy but empathy. Apparently the fear for picking up the phone is spreading like a pandemic.

What is it about calling that the youth hate and fear so much? With everyone always texting it is possibly easy to narrow down the caller’s identity. Nowadays the only people from whom one might expect a call are salesmen or people with matters of importance to discuss. Either way it’s never someone with a cake. Perhaps I, along with hundreds of others, have learnt to associate calls with deceptive money-grabbers and not with the long-sighted, chubby-fingered grandmas, who might actually have cake.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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