A Lexander Graham Bell will turn in his grave if he gets to hear this. A study conducted by Britain’s Post Office says that a perfect phone call should be of nine minutes and 36 seconds and the conversation should contain a chatty mix of family news, current affairs, a sprinkling of personal problems and a dash of the weather. The experts came up with this remarkable bit of information after analysing what more than 2,000 people liked and disliked about talking on the phone.
Here’s the recipe for the perfect call: three minutes of news about family and friends, a minute each on personal problems and work/school, 42 seconds on current affairs, 24 seconds each on the weather and the opposite sex, 12 seconds on celebrity gossip, a minute and 42 seconds for laughing and, most importantly, 12 seconds of silence. So now, along with keeping a tab on how much you are jabbering, and on what, you need to a keep an eye on the stopwatch as well.
Along with Bell and inveterate gossips, telecom honchos must also be horrified: a mental cap on call time will be inversely proportional to their profits. In a way, this cap also puts a reverse kind of pressure on people who loathe talking on the phone: talk any less and you’d be considered below par, or even rude.
What is with these telephones? Studies abound on the health perils of nattering on, and talking less seems to be the credo. Since we are not among those trying for the Perfect Caller Prize, let this be our caller tune: ‘Nothing’s really making any sense at all/Let’s talk, let’s ta-a-alk/Let’s talk, let’s ta-a-alk....’