Monday, August 27, 2007

I delete you

I cull contacts from my phone regularly.

If we haven't talked in a while, and I don't have a particular inclination to call, I'll probably delete the person. If I met you ages ago and we thought it was a great idea to exchange numbers, and then neither of us ever called, I'll delete. Even though you can jump to a particular letter, I just don't like having to scroll through too many names.

And I delete men from my phone with alarming alacrity.

You piss me off. Delete. You hurt my feelings. Delete. You disappoint me. Delete.

A good friend of mine has always said this is foolish, that I want to be able to know who is calling. She, in fact, was with me when I got a call from a number I'd just deleted. A guy I'd lightly dated for a couple months. Things got weird, and then it ended.

And I sent a very nice email wrapping things up. Goodbye. And then I deleted him from my phone. Goodbye.

And then, very next morning, as I was leaving Tryst I got a call from a 202 number. I showed it to her. "Anyone we know?" She shook her head.

I answered with a, "Hello?" in the tone of voice you use when you have no idea who is calling. And then I looked at her and said, "Oh, hi! Greg!" She nearly fell over laughing. With an "I told you so!" look.

I've also had to put guys back in - multiple times, in fact. First enough calls from the cell phone and I realize it behooves me to be able to identify the number. So I program that back in. And then the office phone. And then home phone. And I'm back to having all their numbers.

Which may, down the road, get deleted in one fell swoop. Delete contact? Absolutely.

It's obviously not an act of ambivalence. If you didn't care if you saw their name as you scroll through numbers, you'd just leave it. It's odd that it feels like a small victory, in some way. Perhaps it's slightly malicious. Or petulant. Or something in that direction. I realize this.

But still, there's something very satisfying about it. Delete contact? Yes. You might not know it, but I'm done. Goodbye.

Rational? Not necessarily. But how often is that one of my grand claims?


  1. Oh, that's the best feeling in the world. Its the first step in getting over a guy.

  2. JN's gone, huh??

  3. i agree, there is an irrational satisfaction in it for sure.

    people are funny about their contact lists. i dated a guy in college and for a little while after, and then things derailed but we ended up staying friends. we lived three hours apart by then, though, so we spoke much less often.

    probably a year or so later, i was in town visiting, and somehow it came up that he didn't have my number. i said "what are you talking about, i haven't changed my phone." he said, "oh, i deleted your number way back when. it was safer that way, at the time."

    i guess if you have that kind of foresight about your drunk dialing inclinations, more power to you!

  4. OMG, you and Lauren were separated at birth!!

    I, on the other hand, have at least 20 numbers that I have no clue to whom they belong. That actually seems more irrational to me... and disturbingly weird.

    OK, I'm off to delete!

  5. Lisa, we are so Alike!!! (Lauren, I do it for the same reasons you do). But my favorite thing is when guys that I have deleted call me and ask "Did you text me last night?" and I can say "No and I could not have contacted you if I wanted to since I deleted your information out of my phone"....Evil Grin :)

  6. mm - Sometimes it's just done out of irritation or annoyance, but if I need to get over someone, that's absolutely my first step.

    ACL - Yah.

    kate.d - I've never been a drunk dialer, but I think if you are, this is the smartest thing you can do.

    AF - So funny! Doesn't surprise me about Lauren. I dunno. I think it's more zen to be able to just leave them be.

    Lauren - I can totally picture evil grin of delight, actually.

  7. I delete for the same reasons, and sometimes to restrain myself from calling or texting someone when I've had one (or four) too many drinks. But I give them to my roommate for safe keeping. Just in case.

  8. gn - I get rid entirely. No back up copy. and if I'm quite upset about them, then I also delete email.

  9. Yeah. I'm guilty of this too. And when they call again, which they always do, I take a small amount of pleasure in my questioning hello when I answer the phone. Although unfortunately for me, I'm somewhat numberlexic (as in I always flip numbers in my head when dialing) so usually I memorize important people's numbers. So even though M is not in my phone anymore, I know his number my heart. Not always a good thing at 2 am on Friday night after being at the bar. I've learned to just turn my phone off. I also delete men's numbers that I get when I'm out at a bar immediately after they give them to me or on the way home the same night, so, that way when they do call, it's a happy surprise, and there is also no way that I can possibly get drunk, whiny and call them a month later and say, WHY DIDN'T YOU EVER CALL ME? You said you would. *sniff*

    Crazy behavior? Perhaps... Self-Preservation from stupid (drunk) mistakes? Absolutely.

  10. I guess I need to meet more people I don't ever want to hear from again :)

  11. I think that this makes perfect sense...what's the point of the mental and cellular clutter? i'm an emotional eraser, too, and it DOES feel good!!

  12. :)
    This is a great one, again!I loved this post.
    And it's a great idea, Why carry the extra baggage.

  13. SL - Smart, very smart, both to turn off phone and to delete bar numbers right after they give them to you! Much better to get a happy surprise! Self-preservation can't be overrated.

    Pidomon - Ah, my friend, it's not that you don't want to hear from them. It's that you don't want to contact them.

    moosie - I LOVE that phrase - "emotional eraser" - absolutely love it!

    Marija - Absolultely - why carry extra baggage? Delete!

  14. Consider your way of being fastidious. You are phone fastidious.

  15. This woud make a realy interesting chart: you note the date and name of addition and deletion, giving addition a positive value and deletion a negative. These values would have to be identical and consistent.

    Restated, the Y-Axis would be "Contact Activity Score," based on adding 1 for every time you added a name, subtracting 1 for every time you deleted that SAME name. The X-axis would be Date of Occurence," and the data plotted woud be the contact names.

    Although, if you were tracking near-instant bar-oriented additions and deletions, you'd have to make the X-axis much more granular. But that would require significantly more effort. Including time stamping.

    You can then have a visual representation of Phone-Based Social-Network Fluidity.

    Yes, indeedy. That would be a very interesting chart. To a dork. Like me.


  16. DCup - Ohh, thank you! I'm generally disorganized and untidy, but I'm phone fastidious!

    Rich - I heart you so much. I love love love people whose brains work like this, since mine cannot.

  17. See, I have so much ADHD that I forgot that I wrote and am just snorfling at you referring to someone named "DCUP."

  18. Our mutual friend Dagny mentioned this post, so I had to see it for myself. I felt like a freak because I thought I was the only one who behaved in such a manner.

    I mean I've deleted people because they didnt return a text in a timely fashion lol.

    This is just so dead on I can't even stand it. I told Dags to give you a hi 5 when she saw you next. Then she suggested that I deliver it here ya go

    *HI 5*

    delete this at your leisure =D

  19. Rich - Ah, then you'll be snorfling a lot.

    HBMS - Thanks for dropping by! I love hearing this! And I'm not deleting unless you hurt my feelings. :)


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