Next time you fault someone for letting your call go unanswered, consider the following: they signed a contract with a mobile phone service, not you. Having a phone number does not obligate one to pick up phone calls to that number. That’s a false premise.
It’s almost 2013, and cell phone etiquette is in its last iterations of a decades-long change. It started with the ability to screen calls with Caller ID, the mainstream introduction of circumventing calls with IM and email, and texting as a legitimate way to one-off communicate quickly and passively. Essentially each of these developments provided an alternative to interacting with one’s voice, and it’s brought us to a world in which it’s normal to feel creeped out by getting a call at 8 p.m. by a number that isn’t in your contact list.
Things have changed — we are no longer obligated at the premise level to pick up the phone. Because here’s what happens when you sign up for a mobile phone service:
- You feel determined to get expensive smartphone
- You pay too much money for a plan with carrier to get expensive smartphone
- You pay too much money every month for plan, often going over the data allowance, all of which results in
- You have less money
If we’re going to lose money on something, let us lose it the way we want to. Purchasing a cell phone and a carrier plan is not a personal favor to every person who can locate our phone numbers and call us! It’s a personal decision about where our money’s going and how we use the product we pay for. You do not assume any ownership over our behavior by dialing us when we’re too busy or depressed to pick up and talk to you. Your desire to talk no longer requires reciprocation. It isn’t all about you! We don’t owe you anything. Our device are OUR DEVICES, and we will defend our right to total ownership of those devices with snarky blog posts, late text messages, and maybe passive aggressive emails!
So don’t call twice, don’t leave a voicemail, and don’t get mad when we don’t want to talk. Just text :)