1) Sarcasm is easily misinterpreted on the phone.

2) I have a face for radio and a voice for Twitter. Which is to say, I don’t like my voice.

3) Having to hold my hand up to my ear while someone drones on and on.

4) Having to commit to the time it takes to have the actual phone call. Email is intermittent. You get to it when you get to it. Then again, I do email right away. Get it done, and all that.

5) I like paper trails. I’ve been burned more than once by someone committing to something on the phone; not following through; then not remembering committing to it at all.

6) I have bad hearing. Sure, it’s just in one ear, but still  (and I use the good ear for the phone) – talking on the telephone means subjecting yourself to the limits of your senses. When something’s in writing, there’s no mistake about what’s being said.

7) Awkward silences and knowing when to hang up. With email, it’s a quick ‘very best,’ a signature line, and boom – you’re done.

8) It’s a computer, not a walkie talkie. Look, I know you still like to talk on the phone. So did my grandmother. I’m not an old lady – I don’t like squawking.

9) I don’t do dictation. Too often I am asked to take notes on the phone. Really? How hard is it for you type a list in an email and hit send? Why must I try to write something down with a phone up to my ear then type what I just wrote so I can do something with it? Besides, my handwriting is really bad these days.

10)  Stream of consciousness. I hate that on the phone you’ve got to interrupt someone to get a thought out. Then they think you’re a dick, but you’re really just thinking out loud. In real time. No, on the phone you have to take turns. Then there’s some weird etiquette about who goes next, and then you respond or whatever. In email you get what you want out. Then someone else does. Back. Forth. In writing. No mistakes.


Jim Mitchem

Urban Camping in Charleston
Broken Dreams

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.