I Hate, Abhor, Detest and Dislike…


The phone.

I’m not entirely sure when it started, probably several years ago.

But I absolutely despise talking on the phone except for a few exceptions. 

I don’t mind talking about something specific.  If you call me because you want to ask me a question, or borrow an egg or clarify some information, I’m fine with that.  No problem.

But if you ae calling me to shoot the breeze, forget it.  Don’t bother.  It’s not for me.

Gone are the days when I would spend hours on the phone talking about nothing, twisting myself up in a 25 foot phone cord that could reach all around the house.  Remember those?

These days I prefer email or in person communication, it works better for me.

I let the messages on my answering machine pile up until there are so many I just hit delete without ever listening to them.  Gasp!

Not too long ago there were 96 messages on my cell phone answering machine.  They had accumulated over months.  You know what I did?  I hit delete.  I have no idea who called or when.  Terrible isn’t it?

I figured whoever called so long ago wasn’t expecting a call back.

And it’s not personal.  It has nothing to do with who’s calling; 90% of the time I don’t even hear my cell phone ringing.  I just do not enjoy talking on the phone.  AT ALL.

Does anyone else share my distain?

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79 Comments

  1. HoneyB 1

    I sure do join you. I use it to find out where my hubby or child is, or to pass on or gather info and I like to get off it as soon as I get on. Grumpy on the other hand could sit and just breathe at me on the phone. God I hate that.

    Reply
  2. Leslie 2

    Ahhh the phone…yep, its not my favorite. I have a bad habit of not listening to my messages..I havent gotten up to 96 yet..maybe 13 or so.
    Oh my…but what is Emeril or Martha was trying to call us???!!! lol

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  3. Philly 3

    Depend what kind of mood I’m in. Don’t call me after 7pm

    #1

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  4. Laura 4

    Do you think this is another reason why we enjoy blogging so much? I also do not like talking on the phone. I always sigh deeply when it rings because it is a chore for me.If you stopped me on the street to chat? No problem. I would enjoy it, but I am with you. Unless you are far away and it is the only way I can catch up with you, I would rather talk face to to face or sorry, email.
    I tell the parents of my students they can email me anytime they want, but they need to know that I DO NOT check my voice mail.
    I could keep going on and on about this, but it would paint a dark picture of me and my phone loathing.
    I should have just wrote “DITTO”

    Reply
  5. I hear you loud and clear and totally agree!!! I work at a hospital scheduling appts 5 hours a day. THAT is enough phone for me. I let my answering machine pick up at home and do the same with my cell. Years back when my older sons were young I could be on the phone forever. Now I detest it. I, too prefer email or getting together with someone in person. I sometimes feel guilty when I don’t call someone back but I just hate the phone. I think I would feel this way even if I wasn’t on the phone at work. So I totally agree with you!

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  6. ha…i’ll see your ‘deleting of messages’ and raise you ‘our machine is full and we DON’T DELETE the messages so new callers CAN’T leave a message.’

    clever, right?

    Reply
  7. ntsc 7

    Since I will be working as a consultant and mostly doing phone work in the future, I do have to put up with them.

    However I far prefer e-mail as a form of communication.

    I do have to be careful in disdain as I will be chair of a professional group once chaired by Alexander Graham Bell and with Edison as one of the founders.

    Reply
  8. Hate, hate, hate the phone! There are just a very few people I can chit chat with over the phone and even then, I usually do not like it and am looking for a way to get off.

    Dh calls me on his way home sometimes and I cannot even chit chat with him. Of course the kind of talk he wants is often a little different. I use the excuse that there are children present, but really I just don’t feel at all comfortable with the phone. Let’s talk about it when you get home okay?! How can you be married to someone for 18 years and have them know you so well, but they just don’t get this one thing? Or maybe he does get it and he’s messing with me.

    Reply
  9. Me, too…me, too, me too…thought I was one of only a few…thank you

    Reply
  10. I thought I was alone! I hate the phone. Any conversation lasting longer than “Okay, what time?” is too much for me. I’m too busy. I’d rather return emails or texts at my leisure.

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  11. Marcy 11

    LOL Cathy. I have to say I share your disdain to a degree. I have many relatives and friends out of town and I like ot hear their voices and actually talk to them once in a while. I do like blogging though, I notice alot fo them check it out, then we dont have SO much to catch up on when we do talk, lol.
    But when I used to be a receptionist at a docs office I so detested the phone. I usually would only talk to my mother, becaseu when i got home at night, i’d already been on the phone for 8 hrs and had no desire to wrack up more time.

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  12. katie 12

    I LOVE text messages. It is so much easier. I can have an entire meaningful conversation with several people at once, all while going about my business. I simply send my text and then continue on my way, whenever they get around to it they reply, and so on. Wonderful! I never actually have to talk to someone anymore unless I want to.

    Reply
  13. Evelyn 13

    Me too….I only use the phone to get my message across and that’s it. No gossiping for me. I love books, nature, the internet, old movies, music that stirs the soul and lots of recipes……which brings me to you, where’s the recipes lately:)

    Reply
  14. Bunny 14

    I have to answer the phone at work, I ‘ve actually thought about taking it off the hook when I’m busy. I don’t answer the phone at home because with 2 teenage boys and one 11 yr old girl in the house I CAN”T FIND IT!! We have 2 cordless phones and we all have cell phones and my husband and I have to hunt for the house phones, nope not doing it, it can ring off the hook.

    Reply
  15. Lo! 15

    I’ve got to confess, you hit a nerve with this one. I absolutely despise talking on the phone. Email me, drive to my house… but, please, don’t ask me to chat for hours :)

    Peef and I have two cell phone lines. Last month, between our TWO phones, we talked for 94 minutes.

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  16. Well, if I’m in the mood, I love to talk on the phone! There are certain people (my mom, sister)that I could talk for hours w/ on the phone.

    I agree that if someone needs to give me some info., etc. I prefer email or text. But I like to just “gab” on the phone!!

    Reply
  17. Teri 17

    This IS why they invented Email right? For the person who can’t stand the “awkwardly long” conversations on the phone. I HATE THAT! Even if it’s someone you completely love, there is always that awkward moment… of well, ending the conversation. Then somehow they find something else to talk about.

    Emails and reading blogs. I love them!

    Reply
  18. mitchsmom 18

    OMG, I am SO with you!!! I still feel guilty about it but I am not at a stage in my life that I can talk on the phone for more than a few minutes. So, I end up screening ALL my calls to try and figure out if it’s a short call or someone calling to chat.

    Reply
  19. Lori 19

    hate it hate it hate it!! i won’t talk on the phone unless i absolutely have to, though i’m always thrilled to talk to my daughters or my son. anyone else, it’s just painful. i don’t know why – it’s nothing against friends at all, i just really hate the phone. always have. and i’m always so happy to learn that there is someone else like me, because i always think it’s something very weird about me.

    Reply
  20. Wow, I thought I was kind of alone in this. I can be sitting right by the phone but I’ll let the answering machine kick in to see who it is. Every time. I’ll pick it up if it’s the school office telling me a kid is bleeding to death, but that’s about it.

    Hate the phone.

    Reply
  21. Caller id is a godsend! That should explain how I feel about phones calls.

    Reply
  22. I share your dislike of the phone. I live for caller id. In fact, I won’t even answer my phone at work. I do listen to the messages and then (gasp) decide if I want to respond. Sometimes I respond immediately with a nice email.
    The unexpected silences… the inadvertent both talking at once… the questions you don’t have answers for on the tip of your tongue… the calls that go on 5 minutes longer than they should because the caller is “chatty”…
    Ugh!

    Reply
  23. sharon 23

    Thank goodness I’m not the only one! I’m not sure where I developed this hatred. It doesn’t seem too long ago that I was a teenager getting grounded from talking on the phone too much!

    Reply
  24. Shirley 24

    I agree. I do have a few exceptions (my mom, my sister, and a few girlfriends). Even with folks I like to talk to in person, phone conversations just seem so awkward. They never seem to come at the right time, there are pregnant pauses, accidentally talking over each other, etc. I had one of those conversation with a friend last night. I was happy to be talking to her, but the phone conversation was awkward at best.

    Reply
  25. I answer ALL of my calls within 24 hours.

    I REFUSE however, to pick up the phone before lunch-time. I’ve got too much to do, the mornings are too harried, and I’m too busy. So nobody can get me out of the shower or interrupt breakfast.

    I have a fetish about returning phone calls (sort of like visiting blogs, I feel a ‘do unto others’ compulsion.)

    And there is one friend who I have let go of because they can’t stay on the phone for less than an hour and I just don’t have the time, patience or interest anymore. Unlike when I was in college :)

    Reply
  26. April in CT 26

    I could have written this word for freakin word. And it seems no matter how much I mention to people I hate the phone nobody understands I don’t want idle chit chat on it. Call me, ask what you gotta ask and let me go.

    Reply
  27. sassy 27

    I have to be in the mood to talk on the phone, but, since my kids grew up and moved away, i spend more time on the phone, i have a couple who call almost everyday to check up on us.

    The only ones i have actual phone conversations are with my relatives, so i kinda have to be a phone person.

    But, other than those people, it would`nt bother me to spend life without a phone.

    Reply
  28. Louise 28

    Ditto!

    Reply
  29. Lisa 29

    Sister, I’m with you. How many times have you and I talked on the phone over the five years we’ve lived here? I bet if I said 10 I’d be exagerrating! I loathe and detest the phone – always have. Let it ring I say!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  30. Louise 30

    Just yesterday, a GF and I were talking, face to face, about just this topic. Each of our families had changed out cell plans to reduce the number of call minutes, as so many went unused. We also realized that with email and texting being so easy and available now, we tend to meet up with friends face to face more often. Who’d a thunk it a few years back?!

    Reply
  31. Becky 31

    I used to be one of those who could talk on the phone for hours.
    Then in my work, I spent 9 hours per day answering and talking on the phone.
    Now, I prefer email. My family drives me crazy, calling, wanting to talk. I just don’t have that much to say anymore. I’m with ya, 100%!

    Reply
  32. Betty 32

    YES! I share your disdain & I worked for Bellsouth for 20 yrs & retired from there in 2000. For almost 2yrs after retiring,I refused to answer the phone & I refused to learn to use the computer until a girlfriend sat me down and made me realize that this computer would not have real people talking back to me, calling me nasty names because I didn’t have the telephone number they wanted. Of course it’s garbage in garbage out when it comes to that aspect of the telephone. I still don’t use the phone too much but the computer & I have made glorious friends, including a family website for my husbands family. Happy typing to everyone.

    Reply
  33. I don’t like lengthy chats on the phone either, but I am compulsive about returning calls. Must be the Southerner in me….

    Reply
  34. ELRA 34

    Cathy,
    Same here. I just don’t like phone conversation, unless it is from my close families and friends. I don’t give my cell number to anybody. So, people who call me on my cell is normally someone who is very close to me. They also know, that I very rarely pick it up, unless if its emergency.

    Reply
  35. Interesting…I’ve never really thought about it. I guess I’d say my first choice in communicating with people is emails and second is the phone. I don’t mind talking to people I really know on the phone, but I don’t like talking to people I don’t really know on the phone. It makes me uncomfortable. Isn’t that odd?

    Reply
  36. MichaelG 36

    This is a taste/emotional/feeling issue. It’s not something to be argued about. Some folks will think as you do, some won’t. I do think, however, that it would be graceful of you to indicate in your vmail message something to the effect that while people are invited to leave messages if they wish, you feel no obligation to return calls and might do so or not as the mood takes you. That way callers will be warned.

    Reply
  37. Lisa 37

    I couldn’t agree more! At some point I acquired a significant aversion to talking on the telephone. I feel a bit bad about it but what’s to be done?

    Reply
  38. KathyB. 38

    Oh my goodness ! My Hubby told me I had to read your blog and comment today ! I already read your blog every day, but he said THIS is the posting for ME !

    I HATE THE PHONE ! My friends and family know I hate the phone. I think I am a joke and irritation to them because of my intense dislike of the phone. Does it sound like I don’t like the phone ?

    I am perfectly content to listen to the phone ring and ring, with not one teensy bit of temptation to answer. And, I am not selective about non-answering. I do not check caller I.D. and decide not to answer, I don’t check at all. Often I do not answer.

    I do check voice mail every hour or so in case I need to respond, but I talk on the phone for specific reasons, I return calls when an answer or some business is required, and I hang around the phone when important calls are expected….but I try not to leave home with a cell phone, and if I do it stays in the car for emergencies..not talking to shoot the breeze.

    I love keeping in touch via face to face communication and writing. I had thought that with the new computer age, where almost everyone has a computer, communication would be a given….guess most people think keeping in touch is FORWARDS…oh no, I might get riled up again. Great post Cathy, how do you manage to stir us up, care for your family, write for a magazine AND feed us all ? Thanks, KathyB.

    Reply
  39. I am so with you. I detest the phone and avoid it at all costs. I’m all about e-mail these days. I could easily live without the phone!!

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  40. I must confess, I love the phone.

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  41. Jeanette 41

    With mass communication flooding us by the minute, we are losing our chance to be anonymous at times, to have our own space, to be unreachable. And we need that personal space.

    I do carry a cell phone in my purse. BUT only because I live in the country and I want to be able to deal with an emergency if it presented itself in a remote location.

    However, usually my cell phone is turned OFF which drives my family crazy. I will leave it ON if there might be something of importance that might have to be dealt with in a timely fashion.

    But I think the fact that drives my family crazy is they think I SHOULD always be available to them at the drop of a pin. Well sorry, if I am off running errands etc, I don’t want you to phone me and ask when I will be home.

    I will be home when I get home, and if something has happened that I won’t be coming in a timely fashion, then I will use my cell phone to tell you such.

    Reply
  42. I don’t care for the phone either. I don’t answer to it most of the times and I’ve made it impossible for people to leave voice messages. Yep, I don’t like it!

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  43. I too hate the phone. I don’t like calling people up, I don’t like answering the phone, I don’t like listening to the messages. I have never liked the phone and find it “weird” to be talking into that thing.

    Reply
  44. melissa 44

    My family is scattered all over the world. If I didn’t yack on the phone I’d never talk to them. Some don’t have email. Email is my favorite though. Just type what you want and hit send. You don’t have to act like your in a good mood or anything. When they email you back you read it when you want.

    Reply
  45. Both Betty and I hate talking on the phone. We have trouble with people who are walking around this store or that talking on a cell phone. We could never do that.

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  46. I’ve actually found myself snarling at my work phone before.

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  47. Tanya 47

    I hate the telephone. I just have this inability to hold a conversation very long before I start to get bored and just want to hang up. I’m with you on this issue!

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  48. Tipper 48

    If I’m in the mood to talk-and it’s a friend-I enjoy it. But not all day and not when I’m busy!

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  49. That is EXACTLY how JS feels!

    As for me, if I have a specific question to ask, I don’t bother with “small talk”. I don’t know, maybe people find that rude. I just think, why would I waste your time?

    (Oh, I commented on the post about the shoes indoors, but I think my comment was eaten! I never did get the confirmation email. Oh well.)

    Reply
  50. Cheryl 50

    More often than not, I’d rather email. I cannot STAND talking on my cell (and I won’t even get into how much I dislike seeing people on their cells in their cars). I’m getting to be a bit surly now when people say, “Let me get your cell,” to which I respond “You’re welcome to it, but I don’t like the cell, so I usually boycott it…” I’d would LOVE to antiquate myself even further by adding, “you’ve got a better chance of reaching me via smoke signals,” but thus far, I’ve restrained…

    Reply
  51. pam 51

    I’m with you, and apparently there are lots of us! When the phone rings, I barely move. My husband jumps up and heads to it immediately, looking at me like I’m crazy. But really I’m usually doing something else, and I don’t want to talk on the phone!

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  52. Kate 52

    I have two sons. One prefers communiating on the phone, which I love. The other is strictly a text person. And I do not enjoy texting. Sometimes I really just need to talk to someone, so I will call. But no, I don’t hate the phone. At all.

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  53. dlyn 53

    *guiltily removes Bluetooth from ear* – sorry, did you say something Cathy?

    Reply
  54. Barbie with a T 54

    Wel, I don’t mind talking on the phone to friends, but I detest making business calls and I let my hubby do all those kind of calls for me. I also prefer emailing because of the convenience. Emails never interrupt anything and they are my most convenient way of communicating with family members and friends. I consider the telephone as an “emergency” item, using it only for emergency calls. I know, I am weird that way.

    Reply
  55. Rayrena 55

    Ha ha, my gut reaction was “Yes! I hate chit chatting!”

    Then I remembered that Monday I spent 3.5 hours catching up with a friend during his 5 hour drive. Oops.

    But for the most part, I’d rather you come over for coffee so we can really interact. If you just need something quick, send an email. If you’re my mom, wait until I see you on Tuesday mornings. That’s about all I can take.

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  56. Melissa 56

    I used to hate the phone, but learned to love it because my family and in-laws all live in other states. And my friends here in SoCal, we’re all so spread out, I don’t see everyone very often. I do email, but most of the time, yeah, the phone it is.

    Reply
  57. Tammy 57

    I hate the phone!!!
    When I used to get back from work from a vacation I used to have in excess of 50 messages….and would just delete them all.
    My greeting said I was on vacation…I figured if it was important, then they would call back.

    Reply
  58. K. You don’t care. But I had a near breakdown 7-ish years ago. I made an appointment with a therapist and everything (Hubby was working in Manhatten and I swear he was commuting home). Turns out the therapist stood me up? I know.
    And I got caller ID and never looked back. Seems to have worked for me.
    I hear you. EMAIL!

    Reply
  59. grace 59

    you said it, cathy. i loathe the phone, and praise the inventor of caller id. more often than not, i’ll let it go to voicemail and then, if necessary, take it up with the person when i see them. in my opinion, phones are only good for emergencies and touching base with my beloved family.

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  60. Oh My God! You are my long lost twin! 😀

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  61. That is exactly like me. I’ve never liked talking on the phone, and I avoid it at all cost.

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  62. I share your disdain! I abhor talking on the phone! I much prefer email. I can communicate on my schedule at my convenience!

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  63. Sarah 63

    Not only do I hate my own phone, I hate other people’s phones as well. The only thing more annoying than having to stop what I am doing to talk on the phone is being interrupted by someone’s else’s “OMG, I totally can’t believe he said that” one-sided conversation. Whew, I feel better having said that!

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  64. Cecil 64

    Me! Me! *Raising hands* I can’t believe there can be many people out there who feels this way and so glad to find you and the rest of your commentators :) This is like a therapy session! I do not like phone conversation at all that I am so used with people staring weirdly at my ancient cellphone. Hey, I don’t use it often enough to keep upgrading it.

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  65. Despise the phone. The only person I can talk to on the phone is my sister and even that is hard sometimes. It is really bad with my mom who loves to chat and I am just so badly trying to think of an excuse to hang up. So I hand the phone to a boy and skip off quickly.

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  66. Raina 66

    Funny, anyone who knows me would tell you I am the exact same way…Caller ID did not change anything for me, I just do not like talking on the phone, my dad long ago called it an invasion of privacy and I guess I have always looked at it that way as well. I never answer it, usually my kids will but they will yell who it is and wait to see if I pick up. I love the newer phone I have that you can just push end and it stops ringing, the best invention since the toaster!!

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  67. Jennifer 67

    YES!
    I feel *soooooo* much better knowing that I am not alone.

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  68. Sarah 68

    Thank God I’m not alone! I hate talking on the phone for work and for personal things. Why can’t everyone move on to emails and texts. I actually respond to those.

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  69. Ruth 69

    i feel the same way and always have… i had a friend in school who would call me every night (after having spent the day together) and talk for an hour, because we had the same phone service provider and it was free…
    i just have trouble holding a conversation when i cant see the other persons face or body language.
    i think its also to to with being in different environments, you cant comment on things your bothing looing at, and you get distracted by things the other person cant see!

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  70. heather 70

    heck yeah. i hate talking on the phone, always have, but it was possibly further cemented by 2 long-distance relationships. i’d much rather do face-to-face where i can read the person’s responses better. or email, although i’m getting bad at that lately too :)

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  71. I actually am the same way…I have friends that give me grief for not calling…but really I don’t want to talk on the phone! I would rather see you in person!
    Also, my job had required me to be on the phone for a number of years so I certainly didn’t want to be on the phone a gabbin’ away in the evening time!

    Reply
  72. vanessa 72

    I’m guilty of the same. And judging from the comments on this entry, it doesn’t seem to be all that uncommon.

    I don’t like to get on the phone to just chat. Something about it makes me uncomfortable, which then makes the conversation a bit strained/awkward. I would really rather write an e-mail or a letter.. or see someone if that is doable.

    Of course there is the exception of my Mother, who thinks I am dead if I do not answer my phone for a day…. I usually give her a call during the day to shoot the breeze.

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  73. Julie 73

    I am so glad to know there is someone else out there who feels the same way! I detest the phone. People get so upset that I don’t call them, but I have three young kids. What mom of three kids has time to gab on the phone?! And I hate having to listen to people drone on and on about stuff that doesn’t pertain to me (or that I could care less about). Oh yeah, did I mention I hate having to make small talk?

    I email. Or blog. If anyone wants to know what I’m up to, they can read my blog. I’m antisocial. I don’t like people half the time. 😉

    By-the-way, your food looks scrumptious!

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  74. I’m with you girl. A ringing phone makes my tummy twist. Who has time for chit-chat? Not me, cuz the kids are probably burning down the house whilst nothing is being said on the phone.

    I totally know what you mean…

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  75. Natasha 75

    I can deal with the phone – but I HATE VOICEMAIL! I wish people either found me in person, texted me, emailed me or just waited until I was at the phone to reach me. Or if I see a missed call I can call back. I just hate listening to voicemail and people without voice mail etiquette who leave 5 minute messages about nothing with lots of ‘umms’ in it!

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  76. Alanna 76

    ME TOO!!!!! I hate talking on the phone. I never call anyone back…I usually let it go to voicemail. I email whenever possible at all. I too used to talk on the phone for hours as a teenager, but now the phone is my worst enemy. Text messages are my savior. Glad I’m not alone!

    Reply
  77. Mrs. L 78

    You are so not alone. I always wonder what happened to that girl that could spend hours saying basically nothing on the phone. These days I think because I have to talk to families a lot on the phone at work, I hate to talk on the phone in general.

    Reply
  78. Erin 79

    You totally hit a nerve with this one. I have never liked talking on the phone. When someone calls to talk to me, they eventually give up because I never say much. Invariably I will let the voice mail pick up incoming calls and avoid listening to the messages. My extended family complains all the time to me that I should start answering the phone – I say, email me! I just loath the phone!

    Reply

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