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Why I Never, Ever Answer the Phone

by Maria Shimizu Christensen 6 months ago in tech

You can call but I won’t pick up

Why I Never, Ever Answer the Phone
Photo by Bart Anestin on Unsplash

The ringer on my phone is off. I don’t even have it set to vibrate. I won’t know if you’ve called until I bother to check the phone, and that will be on my time. Like, whenever I feel like it, because that’s how I roll. My family and friends know this about me, and that’s the only thing that’s important.

All that said, if I really need to be available, if I’m waiting for an important call, then I’ll turn it all on. I may have grown up in the age of rotary dial phones but I’m not that rigid about rules. Even the ones I create for myself. And contrary to popular belief, I actually love my smart phone. That little gadget fulfills every wish my geeky little sci-fi loving teenage heart ever had. The fact it can make phone calls is secondary, though.

There are a lot of good, practical, reasonable reasons for not answering the phone and I’m going to lay them out for you.


My caller ID might say you’re calling, but someone could be spoofing your number. I’ll call you back. Scam phone calls cost $19.7 billion dollars in 2020. Like, seriously? That’s an appalling amount of money, and an appalling amount of trust. Listen up people, if you don’t know who it is, just assume they want your money. And, according to the FTC, text scamming rose hugely in 2020. It’s estimated that everyone with a phone, averaged together, gets 28 robocalls and texts every month. Now, not all robocalls are scams, but none of them are worth my instant attention. And it’s none of your business who I’m voting for.

I Have Voice Mail

I remember when answering machines were invented. Yeah, I’m that old. Shut up, whippersnapper. They changed my life. I screened everything and picked up if I felt like it. Some things never change. I will call you back if you leave a message at the tone. Compared to the days before answering machines this is a dream. Imagine not knowing if someone important called about something important. Imagine thinking no one loves you because you think no one calls, but actually you were just outside feeding the chickens and missed the calls.

I’ll Pay You When I Can

Bill collectors. Need I say more?


If you call while I’m out getting coffee, I am not going to pick up and describe my latest medical issue within earshot of strangers, even though I’m dying to tell you about it because getting older sometimes sucks. Also, I’m not ashamed of my potty mouth, but I weary of the looks I get for it in public. Fuck you, Karen. You know she’s been around for longer than she’s had a name.

I’m a Writer, Not a Speaker

I’m far more eloquent with written words and I will forget to say something, or forget the word for something, if I’m relying on my ability to speak out loud. I’ll text you. Or email, really, because you’re far less likely to expect an instant response.

I’m an Introvert

I’m a writer. Do you know how many of us are introverts? Okay, I’m actually an outgoing introvert. I’m not socially awkward, and I love a good party, but being around a lot of people drains me. And sometimes, just talking to someone can suck the energy right out of me. I’ll call you back just as soon as my batteries are recharged.

So, there you go. I’m not antisocial. Most of the time. That’s a different article. I’m practical and self-aware, and I know what’s good for me and what isn’t and I live my life accordingly. I think that’s a life lesson.


Maria Shimizu Christensen

Writer living my dreams by day and dreaming up new ones by night

The Read Ink Scribbler

Bauble & Verve


Also, History Major, Senior Accountant, Geek, Fan of cocktails and camping

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