Saying Goodbye

In movies and television, no one says “Goodbye” at the end of a phone call.  Have you ever noticed this?  They simply hang up when they are through talking.  How do they know that the other person is done talking? Even if they are calling to tell each other “Goodbye” for the last time the conversation usually ends up with something other than “Goodbye”.  Maybe Hollywood thinks that it would be too annoying to hear “Goodbye” at the end of every phone call or something. Maybe they are trying to show that the characters are “too cool” to follow such social norms.  I don’t know, but I do know that if you try this in real life, it will drive people crazy!

In college a friend of mine and I decided to follow the movie model and stop saying goodbye.  We’d simply hang up when we were through talking. I can tell you it positively makes for the most annoying telephone conversations you’ve ever had.  You are talking back and forth, your friend says something and then “click”. You don’t get a chance to reply or say anything–they were done so they hang up.  You can call them back if you have something else you want to say. You end up with conversations like:

A: Hey do you want to go get some lunch?


A: [Redials B]

B: Hello?

A: Um did the phone disconnect?

B: No I was just done talking.

I think the calling back thing would make movies a bit more realistic.  When someone hangs up without saying “Goodbye” (and thus giving the other party a chance to finish up any important business) the person who was hung up on, should immediately call back and say, “Wait, I wasn’t through talking!” or “Did you hang up or did the call drop?”


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