Every time a new smartphone hits the market, I'm thoroughly disappointed. No matter how advanced the average smartphone of today may be, our technology apparently hasn't advanced to the point where it's possible to develop the only feature I'm actually waiting for: I don't want people to be able to call me on it.
I can't really understand why the phone call is still being used as a communication tool. Let's see how I can make my point clear in an orderly way, because I'm quite passionate about this.
Okay first of all: calling someone is just plain rude
When you give somebody your phone number, you're basically giving this person a remote control to a small speaker that you carry with you at all times. You're giving someone control over a device that you wear close to your body. Anyone can cause it to light up, make sounds, or vibrate at pretty much any time of the day.
When somebody calls me, this person is probably not aware of what I'm doing. Still, this person grants herself the right to test whether I am available for a phone call. Which is rude, right? When my phone rings, it feels to me like somebody's shouting "Heeeeeeeeeey!" at me, regardless of what I might be doing. "Heeeeeeeeeey! Hellooooo!" And they won't stop, not until I respond.
A case study:
Friend: "And then my mother told me that her request for euthanasia had been approved. All the necessary paperwork had been signed."
Me: "Oh Jesus, I'm so sorry..."
Someone who's calling me: "Heeeeeeeeeey!"
Friend: "The doctor who would be performing the euthanasia had to leave the next day, so it had to be done quickly. And this was the moment I realised this would be the last time I would see Mom alive."
Caller: "Heeeeeeeeeey! Hellooooo!"
Friend: "What makes it worse, I don't even remember saying goodbye. I just remember not being able to find the exit of the hospital, because my tears were obstructing my view."
Caller: "Hiiiii! Heeeeeeeeeey! Hellooooo!"
Sure, you can turn off your phone at times you really don't want to be disturbed at all, like during your driving test or the funeral of a brother. But why is it still okay to be called during less important activities, like when you're carrying two crates of beer up the stairs?
No one ever gets bored anymore, because boredom was eradicated somewhere in the mid-90s when the Game Boy and the internet joined forces destroy it. So whenever you make a phone call, you're disturbing someone. You're interfering. No matter who you're calling, this person is engaged in his or her own life, and when you're calling, you're being rude, or at least I think so.
Moreover, when WhatsApp introduced their blue checkmarks (which reveal whether somebody has read your message or not) a couple of months ago, people were panicking about their privacy being taken away from them. Why did people get mad about this, while the same people don't seem to care about the 100 percent guarantee that they're interfering in somebody's life whenever they make a phone call?
By the way, if the person you're calling is riding his bicycle, and it's winter, you can be sure that afterwards they're quietly wishing you'll contract Ebola.
Your smartphone is so much more than just a phone, which makes calling extra super rude
We've all been there: you see a dog taking a shit on a pigeon, and it's the funniest thing you've ever seen, so you quickly grab your smartphone to take a picture, and the camera is focusing, and at that exact moment someone calls you up to ask if you want to help paying for a birthday present for Sandra.
A smartphone has hundreds of features, and a phone call overrules them all
A smartphone has hundreds of features, and a phone call overrules them all. Really frustrating, especially considering I don't even like Sandra.
The simple, winning alternative is to send a text message, of course. A note. A chat. It's so much kinder, because this way you'll let the other person decide when he or she responds.
A couple of not-very-good reasons people sometimes give to explain why they prefer calling:
"It's more convenient"
The worst kind of call is when you're discussing something on Facebook or WhatsApp or something, and the other person decides to pick up their phone. "Yeah hi, I'm calling you because I think it's more convenient to talk everything through like this." My best friend did this to me once in 2009 and we haven't spoken since.
This is the thing.
Just because your fingers are too fat and too lazy to be able to type a message quickly and easily, it doesn't mean the other person also thinks it's convenient to pick up the phone. You can't decide on your own what's convenient for two people, you little prince. Personally I think it's convenient if you would do the dishes that have been piling up in my kitchen for weeks, but does that mean that I should kidnap you and stick a dish brush in your hands? No, it does not.
"It saves time"
Lies!!! You can easily hit up someone you haven't spoken to for two weeks by sending them a message like "grab something to eat tonight?" and no one would think this is weird. Most people won't even raise an eyebrow at the small "g."
But when you call somebody, you must first endure the obligatory "how are you?" ritual, and if you've got some real bad luck you'll also have to feign interest for someone's boring weekend stories. It absorbs so much energy! All I want is food!
"It prevents misunderstandings"
Well, that's a bad thing. Misunderstandings are often super funny, and the only things that still give our drab existences a little color. DO NOT DEPRIVE ME OF THIS!
"Chatting on a screen all day is bad for your eyes"
Mom? Is that you?
Another good reason to never call somebody again: the technology behind mobile phoning is quite awful, when you think about it
Why would you even call somebody on their cell when the call can be interrupted at any time by a circumstance like "being near a wall"? For some reason, it's still not easy to get a good signal with your smartphone. I don't know if this is due to a gap in technological development or because of lazy mobile carriers that like to do nothing else but slurp up all of your hard-earned money, but... oh let's be realistic, it's the mobile carriers' fault. This is for them: ╭∩╮（︶︿︶）╭∩╮
Making phone calls in public is really insensitive to your surroundings
Other people's telephone conversations are just terribly boring, without exception. Regular conversations are hardly ever fascinating, but hearing only half of the conversation makes it even worse. So making calls in public is ugly and rude. Don't bore me with your phone call about your electrician's visit this morning, woman across from me on the train! And they're called pincers, not pliers.
You can't do anything while calling (except for walking around in your own house for miles)
This is especially noticeable during the three-hour phone calls from your mother. You can't pee. You can't lock your bike decently, you can't cook, you can't really eat if you want to remain intelligible. This makes phone calls pretty much the Alcatraz of communication.
You may think: why don't you just use that fancy Bluetooth headset, then? Well.
A special section for people making hands-free phone calls in the street
Hi guys. Do you know how stupid you look? It looks like you're talking to yourself, which is insulting for people who are actually talking to themselves because of mental illness. People might confuse these poor people with hands-free calling douches. So stop it, please. Stop calling hands-free.
And actually, stop calling in general.
This article was translated from Motherboard Nederland.