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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Why I Hate Telephones

I really dislike telephones. The only reason I can think of is because I see telephones as an intrusion into my introvert life. 

Many introverts hate to answer the phone. I don't like that, either, but what I really hate is making a phone call. It doesn't matter whether I'm calling my bank, a friend or a business. I just hate making phone calls. I suspect the reason is that it forces introverts to reach out to people, something that can make us uncomfortable, especially if we are forced to call someone we don't know. Similarly, to us introverts, incoming phone calls are an unwelcome intrusion. It doesn't matter whether the phone has an old-fashioned obnoxious ring or a cute tune; it's still an intrusion. It doesn't matter who is calling. My disdain of the telephone has nothing to do with who is calling (although I refuse to answer a call from a number I don't recognize). It isn't the person who is calling. It's the phone I don't like. But I have to admit, I really despise calls from telemarketers, politicians and charities.

The advent of cordless phones and cell phones is a mixed blessing. It has given me an opportunity to do something else -- let the dogs out, dust the furniture -- while I'm on the phone. So I can let my mind wander and feel that I am accomplishing something while on the phone. But with a cell phone, people expect to be able to reach me at any time, any where. "Why didn't you answer your phone?" they ask. Usually, it's simply because I didn't feel like it. Of course, I don't say that, making up an excuse such as I was outside and my phone was in the house, or I didn't hear it ring.

Apparently I'm not alone in my dislike of telephones. A quick Google search turned up numerous articles by like-minded people who detest using a telephone. I even have a negative reaction to incoming text messages, although not as strong as to phone calls. Anything that interrupts my day -- whether I'm taking a nap or cleaning house or watching television -- is to be avoided.

When asked my preference for being contacted by a business or my doctor's office, I always select e-mail or text. Those two communication choices are a godsend to introverts, since they lack the sense of urgency that comes with a ringing phone.

I do enjoy talking with my daughter on the phone, and catching up with a friend every few months, but despite the fact I like to hear from these people, my initial reaction to the sound of my phone 'ringing' is to take a deep breath and wonder why someone is calling.

Cell phones, of course, are everywhere, so there is no escape. They are handy in case of a breakdown or emergency, or to let someone know I'm on my way someplace, but I don't think we introverts will ever really accept these modern intrusions into our lives.