Why Do Phone Calls Suck?

I think one of the most common (and accurate) introvert memes I see is about how we mostly avoid phone calls and how talking on the phone sucks. I know it's totally true for me and the horrors of speaking on the phone goes back well over four decades.


One time, oh maybe in 5th or 6th grade, a friend and more-or-less neighbor (we lived in the country) called and invited me to stay overnight for a night. Which was cool and I accepted the invite, but I literally didn't know what to say next, so I just stood there holding the phone up to my ear for what seemed like 10 minutes. I don't even remember how the conversation ended, but what was that about? I mean, I had no trouble talking to other kids in person, but put that voice on the other end of a telephone line and I was just lost.


I've often wondered - is it about visual cues? Do we rely on those subtle changes in facial expression or body language? Or maybe because, as introverts, we take time to collect our thoughts and the silence that requires is awkward AF and phone conversations tend toward the shallow.


Anyway, these days, I don't have a landline. Actually, I gave that up in 1999. I love my iPhone, though, and cling to it like it's some kind of tiny treasure. Which it is -- but not for the call-making functions. I mean, there are plenty of ways to communicate with the written word and I think I use all of them on my phone. But phone calls? Nah. I only talk to my husband, my kids, and my mom. All other calls go to voice mail.


My husband, on the other hand, is a wizard with phone calls. He answers the phone and dials up a phone number like it's no big deal, as I sit there in horror and awe at his skill. I mean, if I need to make or accept a phone call, it needs to be scheduled so I can take time to practice what I'm going to say during the conversation. Of course, during the call I'll say something stupid and spend three or four hours analyzing what I should have said instead.


Maybe the reason I hate phone calls is that there's no time to think or make corrections whereas with texts, instant messages, and social media posts, I can take a moment or two to review and edit my words so they accurately reflect what's in my brain.


I don't know exactly why we introverts hate phone calls so much, but as they say, "Don't call me, I'll call you." (Haha, just kidding, I won't call.)