January 23, 2011

That Awkward Phone Conversation

"... if that was the case, you could have at least called and told me.."

"... where were you yesterday? I was calling..."


Don't get me wrong if I am not calling you. It's not you, it's me...

Remember I made a to-do list sometime ago? Well there was an important point mentioned there, "Call friends". Well I was able to complete almost everything in that list but this was left behind. Well, I can give the excuse that it was because of I had no balance in the phone during morning, but then there was credit at evening time. But I didn't call anybody that day. 

Reason??
Well the reason is simple, I am not a very good phone buddy. Part of that can be attributed to my introvert nature. But more than that I am not comfortable with the mode of conversation itself. 

• If you are text chatting with someone you are actually replying to the text sent, with a text of your own (yeah, as if you didn't knew already :); there is no face or voice involved here. Plus this mode is slower than other modes (unless you are the chat ninja) so you get time to articulate your thoughts and continue/divert the conversation. 

• If you are talking face to face, the person is in front of you, so you see her/his reaction/expressions and can change the topic. Otherwise the next person can sense your awkwardness and bail you out of the situation. Also there are a lot of other things that can be done besides talking ;)

• Now turn to a phone conversation. I know voice is a very powerful medium but it seems a phone conversation has got all the limitations of other modes without giving any significant advantages. It neither has slowness of text/messaging nor the closeness of a face2face interview.

So, if I have an option between meeting a person and calling, I will easily choose to travel to meet the person.

The thing is that during phone calls after sometime I am at lose of ideas to continue (don't blame me if I don't rehearse before calling) and then it gets really awkward. You don't want to continue with the conversation any longer due to loss of words but you don't want to cut the line abruptly either. But the silence is creeping, so you try desperately to search for something to continue; you are talking after a long time, there has to be something to talk about, com'n think, think... And then.. you either talk about something you discussed just a short while ago or come up with something pretty nonsense.

And it gets very shameful when it happens with a close friend or even a family member. The same people with whom you have no inhibition to share the bed (and I mean it with right sense) can become a cause of embarrassment while talking over phone, after a long time. And if it's a formal call, then it is surely going to happen at the last minute.

So, in short my point is that I usually avoid phone conversations. And if someone calls home and the phone is not actually meant for me, I usually don't pick it up and let it ring for someone else to pick (It's not that the next person will kill me through the receiver; but then everything has a first). Thankfully GSM provides SMS bearer service by default to all the subscribers and nowadays Internet messaging seems God sent.

So, if you are getting a phone call from my side; remember 2 things:
1. This call is so important that I felt other modes won't suffice. Thank Me! And try to keep the conversation short so as to maximise your probability of getting a phone call in future.
AND/OR
2. You are one of the lucky fews with whom I can share a good phone conversation, without much problem. Congratulate yourself!

Alright, now that you have read it. "Yaar, kya baat hai. Tum to kabhi call hi nahin karte" .... DUBAARA MAT POOCHANA!

It's Not "My" Problem
There are a few people who are gifted with the ability to talk over long times, so one doesn't really have to try hard to keep up the conversation. But it seems, it's not just my problem (although I may be the terminal case). I have heard many people repeating "how is X, how is x (X's son), how is y, how is a, how is x" OR "so what's up; what's going on; anything new; so what's up". I know these act as conversation starters/fillers, but if the conversation mainly consist of these phrases only then I think it is time to shut up and hang up.

So, if you are also suffering from similar kind of inhibitions, (anonymously) comment and tell about your tragic story. Remember, don't consider yourself alone in this world. When God made man, he didn't realise that man will have to converse over phone.

PS: This applies to everyone, those who are reading it NOW, those who will read it in the future and also those who won't read. Well, Wish no one has to read this, they just get up one day and know... RavS is phonophobic.