New David Mitchell's Soapbox: Hanging Up

The new episode of Soapbox, about that awkward way in which it seems impossible to end a phone call un-weirdly, seems to me to get it almost exactly right.

And while I do think that somehow arranging to cater a phone call would probably help (perhaps by connecting a video line and arranging to do it every time you eat dinner, with someone, whoever's available) I think that part of the problem is not just the singularly chatty quality of the call, but the minimized quantity of conversational information.

In a normal conversation, you've got body language, much less degraded tone of voice, facial expressions, and positioning, all of which to indicate your intents and desires.  It is, therefore, somewhat easier (though still often incredibly awkward) to terminate a conversation.  And via text, you've at least got so little information that it's an unambiguously alien experience, and people compensate. (brb, g2g, ttyl, etc.)

But on the phone, there's very little way to really tell whether someone's said as much as they'd like to.

Unlike Mitchell's video on Personal Debts, I disagree with his solution to the phone problem.  I like the phone.  It's useful.