Hi, you’ve reached my voicemail. At the beep, please never call again because I probably won’t answer unless you just send a damn text.
In this day and age, there’s really no point in calling. Emails? Those go directly to my phone. Facebook messages? Also directly to my phone. And there’s no more direct route than a good old text. Snapchat, WhatsApp…when there are approximately 18,000 convenient ways to get in touch with me, an actual phone call ranks right up there with sending a message via carrier pigeon. In other words: Just don’t.
Why? Well, because…
1. It’s awkward.
I’m a nice person (well, generally). So when you call for a seemingly innocent chat and then spring a sudden invitation to an event I’d rather not attend, or ask me for a favor that I could do but just really don’t want to, it puts me in a tough spot. My knee-jerk reaction is “Hell naw!” but my tactful nature prevents me from actually saying it, and then I get myself into something I regret. So do me a solid: If you’re asking me something, text me so I can at least have time to think of a decent and plausible excuse.
2. It’s nap time.
I have just spent a substantial chunk of time putting my child to sleep and then contorted my body in nearly impossible ways to get out of the room without causing a disturbance. If you call and wake somebody up, I’ll be over shortly to drop a cranky nap-less kid off at your door and drive away giving you the finger.
3. It’s ‘me time.’
Moments to myself are precious and few and fleeting. So when I have some, I really don’t want to spend them listening to an entire drawn-out conversation—unless you’re coming over and bringing wine.
4. I can’t multitask while I’m talking.
I’m all about getting things done efficiently, which includes a lot of multitasking. But when you call me up while I’m doing stuff, I get a raging headache from walking around with my phone pinned between my shoulder and my face. (Yes, I know that’s what Bluetooth headsets are for, but ain’t nobody got time for those.) When you text me, I can answer at my convenience, or like, stir my dinner with one hand while replying with the other.
5. I’ve got kids.
And if you’ve got them too, you know that—no matter how often you evangelize about the importance of not interrupting (or just yell, “I’m on the phone, dammit!”)—they suck at keeping to themselves when you’re trying to talk. They can be quietly playing or scattered to the far corners of the neighborhood, but as soon as phone hits ear, it’s like sending a beacon: Mom is trying to have a conversation. And suddenly, everything is urgent, and everyone is tugging at the hem of my shirt or impatiently tapping my hand or straight-up saying, “Mom, Mom, Mom.” Or they choose that exact moment to hit their brother with a plastic bat or accidentally fall down the stairs.
6. I can’t commit that much time.
If a phone call is quick and to the point, fine. But inevitably when I do answer a call, it’s from someone who wants to spend an hour talking (without letting me get a word in edgewise). Phone calls say, “Here, let me monopolize the next 60-plus minutes regardless of what you’re doing at the moment.” Text messages say, “Hey, I’d like to talk when you’re not busy.”
7. I’m too tired.
Sure, it would be easier to chat at the end of the day when my kids are asleep and the house is quiet. But by then I’m so freaking exhausted that all you’ll get from my end of the phone are a couple of half-hearted “mmhmm”s as I try to keep my eyes open.
8. I’m in the middle of the grocery store.
Or Target. Or the DMV. Or one of the other bazillion places I have to go on what seems like an hourly basis. I might be at a deli counter, struggling to hear you over the music on the speakers and the old guy beside me who’s complaining about the price of salami. Or I might be at the library, where I’d rather paper-cut my own tongue than be that person who’s yakking on a cell phone and getting disgusted side-eye from everyone. Either way, a text is a vastly preferable alternative.
9. I’m chauffeuring.
Between appointments and practices and drop-off and pickup and general getting-from-point-A-to-point-B, I spend more time in my car than an Uber driver. And I can’t concentrate on the road and jam out to the radio and chastise my kids for fighting in the backseat and talk on the phone, which is why I’d rather not take a call—I don’t need one more distraction.
10. I can’t hear you.
Background noises and bad phone connections leave me plugging one ear and saying, “Huh?” like fifty times in a row. But text messages always come through loud and clear.
I rarely answer a phone call. But a text guarantees an answer—maybe not immediately, but I’ll get around to it when the time is right, I promise.
Just don’t call me. I’ll call you…