I am not a phone person. Maybe I was at one point, no longer. I will go to great lengths to avoid talking on the phone. I talk on the phone a lot at work, but that is because most of the people I work with are on the west coast, and I am on the east coast. There, at least, I am being paid to talk on the phone.
My grandfather was not much of a phone-talker. I always liked talking to him on the phone, but whenever I called him, I felt like he couldn’t get off the phone soon enough. I suspect it was because I was paying for the long-distance call and he wanted to minimize my phone bill. This was in the days before unlimited long-distance plans made such concerns obsolete.
There are some people who get me on the phone and never let go.
Then there are all the calls I don’t care to take. The American Red Cross has called me dozens of times asking me to donate blood. I was a regular blood donor for years, and then had a bad experience and decided to give it up for a while. They don’t take no for an answer, so I ignore the calls.
The truth is, I get far more phone calls that I ignore than I answer. These days, if I don’t recognize a phone number I don’t answer the phone. I also don’t listen to voicemail, which I gave up years ago. It is an outdated technology.
Part of the problem is that I rarely have anything to say to people on the phone. I’ve had phone conversations on numerous occasions that have gone much like this:
“So what else is new?” the person on the phone says.
“Well, I’ve retired my voicemail,” I say.
“I know, I read about it on your blog.”
Substitute “read about it on your blog” with “saw it on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.” Social media allows me to keep up with friends and family more efficiently than a phone call.
I actually prefer video chats. I do these frequently with coworkers, and when I call family, I prefer video chats to phone calls. I prefer texting to phone calls. When Kelly and I were dating, we texted for more than a month before we finally resorted to an actual phone call.
We have one of those phone plans with rollover minutes. I use so few minutes that I have, as of this writing (I just verified this) 5,222 minutes including my rollover minutes. That’s 87 hours or more than 3-1/2 consecutive days worth of call time. Combined, Kelly and I used 43 minutes of call time on our last bill—most of which was Kelly. At that rate, it would take us 10 years to consume the 5,222 minutes—and that’s not counting the new minutes we add each month.
If you are looking to reach me, your best bet is not to contact me by phone.