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Do you ever fake talking on your cell phone, and if so why?
August 17th, 2011
04:56 PM ET

Do you ever fake talking on your cell phone, and if so why?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

One out of every 8 cell phone users admits to faking it. We're talking about cell phones here.

A new pew poll shows 13% of cell phone users say they've pretended to use their phone so they'd look busy... and not have to talk to others.

People under 30 are more than twice as likely to fake using a cell phone.

The survey also shows about 83% of Americans have a cell phone. So that's a lot of faking.

People use their cell phones for everything from taking pictures and videos to texting, playing games, listening to music, e-mailing, emergency situations or entertaining themselves when bored.

Many say they need their phones to live... more than 1 in 4 people say that they've come across a situation in the last month that was more difficult because they didn't have their phone with them.

Yet despite all these advantages - almost a third of those polled said they needed to unplug once in a while. These users turn off their phones for a while just to get a break. They are the sane ones among us.

Maybe they need a break because a lot of them are also frustrated with their phones. They complain their phone takes too long to download something or that they've had difficulty reading something on their phone because the screen was too small.

But we digress. I want to know more about faking it… when it comes to cell phones.

Here’s my question to you: Do you ever fake talking on your cell phone, and if so why?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Linda in Kentucky:
No, Jack but I see people who do all the time. It's quite obvious when they are doing it and I really think that they are just trying to look "important." Everyone seems like they want to be somebody these days – real or fake. Not me, the more people who don't notice me, and the less my phone rings, the happier I am.

Dee in New York:
I only did this once several years ago. I was on a secluded beach in the off season with my husband. I was reading a book while my husband was using his metal detector. He had wandered out of sight and I believe earshot. A guy started to approach me. There was no one else in sight and the guy was creeping me out, so I flipped open my phone and instantly the guy turned on his heel and walked away.

Mary in Louisiana:
Yes. I set an alarm to go off and faked my husband calling to get away from an over-eager car salesman.

Sam:
Sometimes it's more productive to fake a call for 10 seconds than be pulled into a nonsense discussion for 10 minutes.

Manny:
All the time when I take a break at work. I am a systems engineer and a vast majority of individuals in my company know this. 90% of unavoidable interactions end up with problems that the user is experiencing with their desktop, operating system, or application. I'd like to get away from work during my break.

Stephanie:
I fake-talk when I'm walking home alone at night. Walking down empty city streets makes me feel anxious and eerie leers from men on the sidewalk unnerve me. Fake talking makes me feel safer.

Carol on Facebook:
It's the only reason I carry a cell phone.

Jim in Oregon:
Only if I see you coming, Jack.


Filed under: On Jack's radar • Technology
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Sam

    Sometimes it's more productive to fake a call for 10 seconds than be pulled into a nonsense discussion for 10 min.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  2. Joe Ft Walton Bch Fl

    I do it any time when I don't want to talk to a certain person.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  3. jim

    no ,thats funny why would some do that
    jim avilla mo

    August 17, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  4. Jim Hovey

    Only if I see you coming, Jack. Just kidding ....

    JimH
    Oregon

    August 17, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  5. Kelly S

    I've done it to avoid talking to strangers who approach me in public. If I think someone is coming over to give me a sales pitch or to make small talk and I am not in the mood I just pull out my phone and fake talking to someone. It's not the most polite thing to do, but it's more polite than telling someone to "get lost."

    August 17, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  6. David in Tampa

    No Jack. I'm to poor to own a cell phone, and I'm never used one either. One record I am quite proud of. While it may seem a disadvantage, it does avail me of one advantage, time to think.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  7. Tony from Topeka

    That's a great question and "No" I don't. I know it's old fashion, but I think cell phones are rude especially the blue tooth where you can't see the phone and you think the person coming toward you is talking to you – a complete stranger – or is nuts.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  8. Manny

    All the time when I take a break at work. I am a systems engineer and a vast majority of individuals in my company knows this. 90% of unavoided interactions end up with problems that the user is experieincing with their desktop, operating system, or application. I'd like to get away from work during my break.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  9. Ed Hoffman

    No not that sick.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  10. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    When people fake a cell call its like sticking ear phones in pretending you are listening to music and not or picking up a magazine on an airplane and pretend to read it to avoid chat. The bottom line, its an impolite way of turning people off to you. Sometimes its like turning off the sound on CNN when you are discussing Sarah Palin, Michelle Backman etc. You cant see what i am doing, but it makes me feel better to ignore it.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  11. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I sometimes talk to myself but never had the urge to fake talk on a cell phone for any reason. I might be stupid but I'm not crazy.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  12. Michelle Dallas, TX

    I fake talking on my cell phone to avoid people.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  13. Bobby E. Lahmon

    That seems like a question to ask kids one would think that an adult would be past the pretend stage

    August 17, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  14. Jk from Minnesota

    No, I can't say that I do. I try to avoid using it as much as possible.

    August 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  15. Greg in Arkansas

    Only if I am driving and want people to get out of my way.

    August 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  16. Annie, Atlanta

    No. I only carry a cell phone in my car, if I can remember it, "just in case," so rarely find the need to even turn it on.

    August 17, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  17. Rich McKinney, Texas

    No but occasionally i hear voices. Usually that is someone wanting me to move out of the way though. Jack your grabbing at straws today. Perhaps you came up with this question pretending to talk on your cell phone. If that's the case try hanging up once in a while.

    August 17, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  18. Ed from Texas

    No, Jack. I'm not nuts.

    August 17, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  19. Dan in Aluququerque

    No, because I don't believe in incessant talking on a cell phone in public. I'm from the old school: my phone conversations are private unless I choose to share them. I don't need fake conversations to avoid something I can figure out how to handle the normal way;.

    August 17, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  20. manny oliver

    I do think both enjoying repeating Obama name so much, he dose not need to spend on advertising, One vote for the bail out,
    the other except it to pay his state, one show off his booths and the other show off her eye brows.

    August 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  21. Brad, Portland, OR

    No. It's easier to just be honest.

    August 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  22. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    I don't own a cell phone. If I did, I don't know if I would use it to "fake talk" if I ran into someone I wanted to avoid.

    August 17, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  23. Mary (Louisiana)

    Yes. I set an alarm to go off and faked my husband calling to get away from an over eager car salesman.

    August 17, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  24. Pete in Georgia

    Have we reached the point where ego and the desperate need of self esteem has reached a level of this absurdity ??

    August 17, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  25. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    No Jack but I do understand that sick people do sick things so we need to recognize that our society is about being popular and "in". This is just the tip of the iceberg of things to come.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  26. Paul From Austin Texas

    No I get way to many calls and have to make as many. Maybe the ones that fake calls just want to seem important because they have no one to call.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  27. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    No, never, Jack! I have more important things to do with my life besides annoying the few friends I have.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  28. Dee, New York

    I only did this once several years ago. I was on a secluded beach in the off season with my husband. I was reading a book while my husband was using his metal detector. He had wandered out of sight and I believe earshot. A guy started to approach me. There was no one else in sight and the guy was creeping me out, so I flipped open my phone and instantly the guy turned on his heel and walked away.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  29. Rick McDaniel

    Don't own a cell phone. Waste of money.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  30. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl since i don't own one of those unhealthy, time consuming, things with little buttons that allows the govt to know exactly where you are and what you are saying, it would really make me look silly to those govt agents that are following me around.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  31. pat, Idaho

    This may sound funny, but I don't own a cell phone!!

    August 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  32. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, I'm 75 and 2 years ago my kids gave me a cell phone. I've used it twice in two years. It's continually charged and stored on a kitchen shelf. I never carry it and some day I might even learn what my cell phone number is. In the meanwhile, I think people who walk around with cell phones in their ear are obnoxious jerks. If I had more time I'd tell you how I REALLY feel.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    August 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  33. Bryan, Colorado

    No, But when I was a little child I used to pretend to be talking on my play phone.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  34. Tom in Desoto, TX

    In a parking lot I was hit by someone talking on a cellphone when attempting to operate their SUV. I have a cellphone. I use it only for calling out and never while driving...not ever. If people would make believe they were talking, they'd drive better and would be less likely to run people down. I ended up with a broken shoulder, and a nice five digit settlement. I would like to do some stuff around the house, perhaps I should call her and schedule a meeting.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  35. Jeff in Bishop, GA

    Mr. Cafferty, fake talking on a cell phone is fantastic way to avoid having a live conversation with a liberal.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  36. Mitoosense Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Jack
    I must confess, that particular comandment is the only one I've not broken. I do find myself taking to myself, I get more attention and better answers.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  37. Linda from Kentucky

    No, Jack but I see people who do all the time. It's quite obvious when they are doing it and I really think that they are just trying to look "important". Everyone seems like they want to be somebody these days – real or fake. Not me, the more people who don't notice me, and the less my phone rings, the happier I am.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  38. Rick, Medina, OH

    Jack,

    The idea of pretending to talk to someone to avoid talking to someone else is really dumb, immature, (and a few other adjectives that the FCC frowns upon!)

    Rick,
    Medina, OH

    August 17, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  39. Dennis

    I have set my phone off to get away from a sales person who would not shut up! and pretended to answer the call and walk away.

    Fountain, Colorado

    August 17, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  40. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    No, I never have. I think it's childish to do so. I hate listenning to people on cell phones, especially the loud ones in quiet places. The last thing I need to listen to is a fake conversation. Hey Cell Phone Idiots, grow up.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  41. Dave, Orlando, FL

    No. I don’t use a cell phone. Call me old fashioned, but I am secure enough that I don’t need to be constantly assured that people still love me 24/7.

    On second thought, maybe I’ll get me one of those things, now that they’ve found a use for them.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  42. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Personally I do not.

    But you may want to ask my wife, she seems to fake everything else.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  43. Mark in Houston

    I never fake using one......I don't use one at all. Have lived 66 years without having to have some electronic gadget attached to my ear or spend hours a day clicking some idiotic portable devise.

    So people don't use them enough as it is....they have to pretend to use them. How dependent is that?

    August 17, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  44. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    If someone is tailgating me on the highway I'll pull out my cell phone and hold it high enough so the party can see it and pretend to be calling 911. This generally works. Works good too for wild truckers who want to intinidate people. They are not sure if you are calling their company or the police. It puts some manners on aggressive and rude drivers.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  45. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Can't respond right now, I have a call coming in on my cell.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  46. Ed from California

    There's nothing fake about it, when I'm yelling at my "smart" phone from a "fruit company". When the stupid thing keeps on dropping my calls. I hate this phone!!!! Why do we need them??

    August 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  47. Carl in San Diego

    Jack, I am old school. I don't own a cell phone!

    August 17, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  48. marybeth, massachusetts

    Jack,

    It must be a slow day for the media if this is one of your questions.

    No, I don't fake talking on my cell phone. I have only had a cell phone for the past 5 years, have one of those contractless phone services, and rarely use it. It is a basic phone–I can't take pictures with it, I don't think I can text with it, and it won't sew on a button, boil water for an egg, or let me track terrorists. It is a basic phone.

    You know Jack, not that long ago we didn't have cell phones, and we managed to survive. I grew up in the 1970's–before computers, email, cell phones. Our bosses couldn't call us when it was our day off and email work to us via our Blackberries. If you were going somewhere and you were running late or something happened (like a big accident on the Pike) that tied up traffic, well, you were late. If you knew you were late, you called ahead from home or from the office.

    Today people don't seem to have any common sense re when to unplug. Unless you're a doctor on call, you don't have to answer your cell phone. Today people use it for ridiculous things, like the young man who was talking on his cell phone saying "I'm walking past the library now". Why not just wait until he arrives at his destination to give his friend the minutiae of his life?

    August 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  49. Gigi Oregon

    NO...It must be a slow day at the studio.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  50. Brian in IL

    Can't say I've ever done this but the device is now a bigger addiction in our society than drugs, alcohol, etc. Don't know if it was marketers who made this one of life's necessities but whoever did unleashed a monster we now can't ever seem to get along without. It has played havoc with real-time conversation. Not to mention one extra expense.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  51. Bill in New Mexico

    We have only scratched the surface of how strange humans can be!

    Savages, would be refreshing compared to this.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  52. Barbara Neafcy

    Hi Jack.
    I'm glad it's not a political question this time. I'm very into politics but your anti-Obama rhetoric lately makes me very tired. So about the cell phone. I've never faked it yet. have't needed to but I've always thought that if I were in some precarious situation, like a parking garage at night and felt that I was being followed/watched. I would definitely "use" my phone to convince whoever it is that I can report everything that is happening to the "person" I'm supposed to be talking to. :-)

    August 17, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  53. Bonnie Pierce

    Only to make bad drivers think I am reporting them to the police.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  54. Rex in Portland, Oregon

    Well, Jack, if i do someday fake talking on my cell phone, just who will I be fooling? We got big brother out there watching my conversations? Or are all those strangers on the sidewalk really curious about how busy I am?

    Nah, this is a Monday question.l

    August 17, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  55. Susanne

    Yes I do in my car: to pretend I'm reporting speeders and tailgaters to the police. The effect on the drivers in question ranges from green to purple in the face. Note: I'm posting this from Germany where the highways are full of people who don't give a dime about their or other people's lives.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  56. Karl in Flint

    I don't because I feel talking on a cell phone in any inappropriate location for any reason is plain ignorant. Using it to appear otherwise occupied is the same thing. I used to ride a commute train and the conductor used to announce that if anyone needed to talk on their cell phones to please come to the vestibule in the center of the car as no one was interested in listening to how important you think you are.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  57. Anthony Frascino....Swedesboro, NJ

    No Jack, I'm still figuring out how to answer the damn thing!

    August 17, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  58. Midwest Jim

    Yes, to keep from being bothered. Like I just faked this comment.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  59. SoCal howdyduty

    I fake talking on my cell phone to interrupt anyone who is imposing on my privacy or bending my ear with inane conversation. It's more politically correct than being rude (especially @ work) and acceptable in this day and age.
    BTW, I am 64 years old.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  60. dave in nashville

    My ex faked headaches for years, now is that not the response you wanted?

    August 17, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  61. Steve Batts

    FAKE IT?? I am retired. I carry a cell phone for health reasons, and emergency road service. I blocked text messages, and I don't want to talk to you. NUFF Said.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  62. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    When, and if, I get a cell phone, I'll let you know if I ever fake a call, and why.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  63. JoeF

    No, it's bad enough that people grab their phones before backing out of a parking space. Why someone would fake a phone call is beyond me. What's next? "Honey, I couldn't answer the phone because I have a headache."

    Stafford, VA

    August 17, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  64. Danielle

    I've pretended to be speaking on my cellphone for security reasons–when walking through an empty and/or dimly-lit garage at night, if someone who makes me uncomfortable is walking behind me for a while on the sidewalk, etc. I suppose it's a false sense of security, the rationale being that one is less likely to be attacked if *with* someone else, and someone on the other end of the line gives that impression. But often being safe is about feeling safe, and as a single woman in a large city, every little bit helps.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  65. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Yes, I often do that when my liberal friends are walking by at work.... saying something like, "Yeah, but Obama is the only snake-oil salesman who actually drinks his own snake oil."

    August 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  66. Susan from Idaho

    Nope, it's kind of like faking something else.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  67. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    "Fake" seems to be the new reality here in the last 15 to 20 years. Anyway, I question...Why do they call it a Blue"Tooth" when They have it stuck in their ear?

    August 17, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  68. Loren

    People lie. Why does it surprise anyone that people would fake talking on their cell phones?

    August 17, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  69. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    I would do that to cover the fact that I am talking to myself. It can be embarrassing.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  70. Stephanie

    I fake-talk not to avoid normal conversations, but when I'm walking home alone at night. Walking down empty city streets makes me feel anxious and eerie leers from men on the sidewalk unnerves me. Fake talking, if I can't really call someone at that hour to talk, makes me feel safer – the thought of "She can tell her phone buddy to help her if I try to hurt her" – puts me slightly more at ease.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  71. Marc Finley

    Absolutely! If you see someone you don't want to talk to, it's very tempting to just grab your phone and pretend you have just received an important text or phone call.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  72. jan

    I've only faked it to get rid of a Jehovah's Witness at the door.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  73. Shane

    Sometimes you are just sitting there and it would look strange if you aren't doing anything, so you "talk" on the phone to look occupied.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  74. David in Salisbuy Md

    OF COURSE! Working at Wal-mart meant requiring a cell phone to fake a call as you left the store so no one would bother you on the way home!

    August 17, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  75. Rena, Reston Va

    Jack – I absolutely fake it, but not to "look busy". I will routinely fake talking on my cell phone if it's dark and I'm walking to my car alone so that a person would think twice about trying to attack or rob me!

    August 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  76. Andrew- Regina, SK

    I have only once; and it was because my friend was starting to discuss about watersports. Trust me on this Jack, if you know what that term means you probably would have done the same thing in order to avoid hearing it.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  77. Kat in Florida

    A few years ago before I had my own car, (I am 20 now) I would walk home alone in the dark and if people or cars ever went by I would pretend to be on my cellphone so that it would ward off people who would want to kidnap me, as stopping me during a phone call would be suspicious. But I have also done it for avoiding talking to someone I don't particularly care to listen to.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  78. Hza Hispaniola

    Hold on Jack, I'm on the phone.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  79. Linda in Arizona

    Fake talking on a cell phone? Sorry, does not compute.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  80. Tre

    I've done it. My most memorable time was so that I didn't get stuck with the "not so attractive" friend. oh well, what do ya do?

    August 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  81. michael sweeney

    Everytime when im confronted by a pan-handler I coincidentally get a phone call. This is not fool-proof though.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  82. Sam in NC

    I don't like talking on cellphones when there are people on the other end of the line (don't like the sound quality), so I'm sure not going to stand around pretending.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  83. Jose Salazar

    I've never ever faked a conversation because i didn't want to talk to a certain person. If i don't want to talk to someone, i have the guts to say "Hey, I don't wanna talk to you". I have however faked playing video games or lost myself on my phone, usually my facebook app, when I'm in a boring or awkward situation.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  84. Leeroy

    I'm a medical resident and I fake a call many a time in the hospital to walk past a troublesome patient's room, or to leave their room!

    August 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  85. Diana in Long Beach

    Yes, I'm guilty of that. When I'm walking alone at night sometimes I'll hold the phone to my ear just to look like I'm talking to someone so I can get help right away if needed.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  86. Natalie

    Yes, guilty as charged- I do it to avoid people I don't have time to talk to and are well known for being long winded- I'll also do it at work when I see someone heading towards my office and I am concentrating on a project with a hot suspense. I don't "fake talk" however, just act like I am listening. Horrible I know.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  87. Tara Gragg

    Yes. I am clearly mentally disturbed as is anyone who engages in this pathetic antisocial behavior. You can refer Wolf to my therapist.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  88. Nick Pod

    The small percentage of people who do that don't have the balls to tell the person that they are avoidning to get lost...

    August 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  89. Charlie Boon

    Mr cafferty i fake talk on my cell phone all the time. When I come home from work and want to avoid my wife, i fake talk on the phone. Just for some piece and quiet.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  90. stuart buchan

    No why would I want to fake frying my brain

    August 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  91. Whitney, Montana

    Yes I do it when I'm in a store or other public places and don't feel comfortable with the people surrounding me i.e. creepy men, etc.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  92. Joshua Vossler

    Yes I play with my phone at least twice a week to avoid all sorts of people and situations, it works every time.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  93. Ron

    Jack, they’re probably the same people who used to drive around town with their windows rolled up to make you think they had air conditioning. Although I can understand why a woman here in New York might pretend to be talking on a cell phone to keep from being bothered by a stranger.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  94. Jennifer from NYC

    I have faked talking on my cell phone while passing by a man or group of men who hit on women walking passed them on the street.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  95. Dave in Baltimore

    Yes, every time I'm in the mall. Those mall kiosks make me feel like I'm in a third world marketplace these days with the people attacking you to try to sell you something. I sometimes will pretend I'm talking on the phone to get them to not bother me. It works.... sometimes.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  96. Kim, Orlando FL

    No can't say that I have...seems like a sad and lonely thing to do.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  97. Tony

    Jack, Im faking right now

    August 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  98. Nardo in Cape Coral, FL

    excuse me I'm on the phone !

    August 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  99. Steve

    I'll tell you what it is, Jack. It's social anxiety disorder. That's why people don't want to talk to other folks in person

    August 17, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  100. Leslie in NYC

    I pretend to be checking my messages when the sidewalk fundraisers for various non-profits are staked out with their clip boards on the sidewalk near my building in NYC – they are equal-opportunity sidewalk spam, and it's easier to get past them if you look like you're busy with your phone and don't make eye contact.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  101. James

    Jack, I don't think they're faking.....I think they hear voices on the other side.

    Jamez – St. Petersburg, FL

    August 17, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  102. Ken in NC

    Only when my wife comes in the room or when she calls my name from some other part of the house Jack.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  103. Dreama

    I don't fake talk on the phone that much, but I did when I was was downtown one night with friends and was passing someone who had been harassing others on the street and cursing at anyone who wouldn't give him money. So fake talking for my own safety? It worked, no confrontation.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  104. Tope, NY

    I fake talk to get away from my wife. Guess this would be the once she watch this on TV.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  105. Phyllis

    Yes, I've faked it on a cell phone, but not for the usual reason. I used to work at a store that made employees park at the far end of the parking lot. When I worked late at night & was coming out by myself, I pretended to talk to someone, so if anyone had the idea to rob me or worse, they would think someone talking to me would report that something was wrong. A parking lot can be a scary place for a woman at night, & if it made someone think twice & leave me alone, I'm all for it.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  106. Reilly

    Yes, I mostly fake talking on my cell phone when walking across the area on my college campus where several Mormons try to sell me their Jesus. This way they leave me alone.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  107. chris

    I fake when this one guy who has cancer and just wants to take up my day for a pitty party bugs me at work Ive got stuff to do and you arnt the only one on my dance card.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  108. Gayle Sheets

    I walk the beach early in the morning to see if sea turtles have nested during the night. We then tape off the nests so that they won't be disturbed. Generally, I'm alone out there. If I see anyone walking toward me, I often pull out my phone to appear that I'm in contact with someone. It's a safety tool.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  109. Lauryn in northeast PA

    Do it all the time! Most recently, I was waiting for my friend at a bar, I pretended to talk to her making sure to say "ok so you're almost here" so I wouldn't be bugged by drunk creepsters!! Not a bad idea for any girl that finds herself out alone.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  110. Cole

    I do when walking alone at night and someone shady looking is walking near me, so they think I am connected to other people and could get help to quick to be an easy target for crime.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  111. Joe Seefried

    Colorado

    yes – lot's of times. Why? I usually start faking a cell phone call when I see a Democrat coming towards me and I just know all I'm gonna hear is how wonderful this president is and how well he is handling the economy and that it's all president Bush's fault, it's all the other president Bush's fault, that it's all Reagan's fault, that it's all president Hoover's fault, etc

    August 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  112. Johnny

    I agree with Sam who says "Sometimes it's more productive to fake a call for 10 seconds than be pulled into a nonsense discussion for 10 min."
    Not only am I guilty of doing this with my cell phone, but I do it with my wireless headset at work to avoid being pulled into a conversation I would rather not be a part of. I usually will point at my headset and whisper "I'm on the phone".

    August 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  113. Tom Nelson

    I almost always have my phone to my ear when I answer my front door. If it's a salesperson or someone wanting to pray with my I am conveniently on a business conference call. I go to the store to buy things and I pray on my own.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  114. JMarie, Taboga, Panama

    Oh my god yes! It is a simple but effective way to keep my distance. To avoid a certain woman who spews nothing but negativity I would fake an, well, you get the picture.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  115. Christina in Ohio

    I have. When I go downtown to this one area there are tons of beggars looking for hand-outs. I find that if I'm on my cellphone they normally don't bother me. So I've both faked it and actually called home to have someone speak to me while I walk by that area. Plus as a female by myself downtown I also do it for safety reasons.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  116. Terry from Delaware

    Jack, I faked it just once. I was near a bank and alone when I noticed a surly character hanging around. I pretended I was on the phone with a demanding spouse who wanted to know where I was, what I was doing, who was around me, and if I wanted him to call the cops.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  117. Linda

    It never ceases to amaze me how immature our society has become! I never even thought to do that until your question today.... and what ever happened to good clear communication, FACE to FACE?
    Like saying, "Im busy at the moment, maybe we can talk later". cheeeesh!

    August 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  118. Mike S

    I fake talking on my phone to avoid dealing with panhandlers and people hawking things that i don't need like credit cards, newspaper subscriptions, satellite TV systems, etc. I can either waste 5 minutes trying to politely say no, or I could be a jerk, or I can pretend to have a good reason for them not to engage me in the first place.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  119. Ken Mahwah NJ

    Fake talking on a cell seems nonsense just to avoid someone. Im going to try fake texting and see if that works.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  120. Seth- frm Dallas Tx

    I only get hit on by ugly and fat women so yea I absolutely fake phone calls, but since I have a hands-free bluetooth device its more like faking a retard.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  121. greg palmer

    When I went to visit my grandmother in a retirement home I was getting talked to by every fifth or sixth person. Some thought i was their lost son others to tell me how there day was. After i visited my grandmother I decided I was gonna pull out my cellphone and pretend like I was in a conversation with someone. I would just smile put my thumb up and wave. This was truly saved by the cell phone because I was already late to a meeting.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  122. Adrian Munyua

    I indeed am a chronic call faker. I do it to avoid making contact with, say estranged friends or avoid weird situation with people. I fake texting to look busy in case there is awkward silence in the room. Adrian. Kenya.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  123. Fred, Newfoundland, Canada

    I only use a cell phone for work and I would not own one otherwise. I believe excessive cell phone use is creating social zombies and texting furthers the living dead characteristics. To say that such a large percentage of zombies are using their mobiles to ignore others doesn't surprise me. What surprises me is that there are still great opportunities to make real conversation, with the living.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  124. Vickie in Texas

    When I first heard this question, I thought it sounded ridiculous. I have a cell phone, but usually only use it for emergencies, because I refuse to make the phone company any richer than they already are. Honestly, you've opened my eyes. Now I will have a paranoid feeling each time I walk up to talk to someone, and they pick up their phone. Thanks!

    August 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  125. Amber H. in FL.

    I was on a walk one day and happened to check my facebook on my phone just moments before I heard a voice call "Hey girl" and saw a man approach from a nearby yard. I immediately acted as if I was making a phone call and the man continued to call out, acting more and more irritated. I turned to him with a puzzled look on my face and into my phone I said in as loud a voice as I could without seeing frightened or obvious "Hey, hon, I forgot to call you back. Oh, no, everythings fine, I am taking a walk on such and such road and a man came out of such and such house trying to get my attention." As he heard me, the man stopped dead in his tracks and slowly backed away saying, "I'm sorry, I thought you were someone else."

    August 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  126. Joe in Arizona

    No, I can't find my cell phone half the time. If some one needs to talk to me no matter how menial it maybe I was raised to respect and lesson to others. Cell phones and smart phones are the reason the new generations have no communication skills or respect.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  127. Evan

    I'm not the best at reacting to the moment but I would say it's not a supprising reaction to fake a call. Nobody is best friends with everyone they meet. There's going to be people in your life that you most likely never want to see again and there's a good chance you will run into him/her again. The easiest thing to do is whip out the phone that your probably already holding, say a few words, and move on with your life. Yet another reason to get a phone- fake calling...

    Evan from Seattle, Washington

    August 17, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  128. Connor Jones

    Many of my friends pretend to send text messages in order to prevent looking idle. It's a sad sign of the times that kids will do anything to prevent being unplugged and actually engaging with other people.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  129. Bob Mears

    I wish more people did. Cell phone users have little to no respect for the general public. I am tired of being disturbed by some rude person talking away in front and behind me at the same time in a public venue. My advice to them is slap your toy on the side of your face, shut-up, and look stupid. Bob in AZ.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  130. JOAN OC West Hartford, CT

    No. I find that cell phone addicts are making a futile attempt at feeling important at the risk, unknown to them, of being a jerk!

    August 17, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
  131. Evan from Washington

    At a young age in a the teens I would say faking a call is more a social issue when your in an acward situation. Since these kind of situations are way more likely because of the drama that's going on, I think it explains the statistic of people under the age of 30 fake calling twice as much. People under thirty years old barley form business relationships with others so they really have nothing to lose.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  132. Theresa

    It would be my luck that my cell phone would ring nad that could be very embarassing

    August 17, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  133. Gilbert

    I have never faked but I will if I meet Jack or Wolf. I would hate to hear someone tell me "this is situation room" when on the streets of Washington DC.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  134. chris

    yes, i have faked a phone call, especially when i go to a store and someone is asking for donations or money, seems like everyone is selling something or asking for money, if there is no side door i can sneak in i just start talking on my phone and they don't even bother...
    chris
    houston

    August 17, 2011 at 6:58 pm |