Why I hate the phone

August 11, 2011

I have always hated the phone. When I was young I hated answering the phone. It invoked a wave of anxiety in me.

I did everything in my power to avoid it, even just talking on it. My parents had to alternately negotiate with me or cajole me to speak with my distant relatives living in the United States.

Now that I’m older, I still dislike the phone. I use it regularly for business purposes, especially when email is too limiting of a means of communication (i.e., where there are multiple theoretical courses of action to be weighed and chosen).

My preferred way to use the phone is to schedule a call (usually an hour) in advance so that I can prepare for it.

I don’t mind getting random calls from family or staff or donors or students, but as often as not (during the workday) I will allow the call to go to voicemail and return the call at a more convenient time. This is at least partially related to how I work. I tend to focus on a project for a limited time and limit my attention to that while I’m working on it (otherwise I’m all over the place).

Apparently disliking the phone isn’t something unique to me. I have always thought of myself as a Gen X-er. Technically (I discovered today) I could fit into the Millenial/Gen Y category. I found this out after reading a post on “Why GenY hates the phone” (read it here).

So, why do GenY-ers hate the phone?

  • It interrupts what we’re working on.
  • It demands our undivided attention.
  • It requires an immediate response.
What about you…do you hate the phone too?