Saturday 20 January 2018

Surprise, surprise, most drunk-dialling is done to hook up with someone

Drink dialling
Drink dialling

Drunk-dialling is when a drunk person makes calls that he or she would not likely make if sober. Often it's calling former love interests.

In Kurt Vonnegut's 1969 novel Slaughterhouse, the main character describes his tendency to drunk dial: "I have this disease late at night sometimes, involving alcohol and the phone. I get drunk...and then, speaking gravely and elegantly into the telephone, I ask the telephone operators to connect me with this friend or that, from whom I have not heard in years."

1969 is earlier than most would have thought for the phenomenon of drunk-dialling. It's not like the second phone call made by Alexander Graham Bell after the famous "Mr Watson, come here. I want to see you" call was "I'm so wasted but I was just thinking of you" - at 2am.

There's even been studies on this. 'Drinking and dialling: An Exploratory Study Of Why College Students Make Cell Phone Calls Intoxicated' concluded that people drunk-dialled because "they had more confidence and felt less accountability for their actions".


Or because "they thought it was funny and to have a good story to talk about later". Or "to tell a friend or romantic interest that they love or miss them" (most likely to end with a restraining order, I would have thought). Or, finally, the drunk dial booty call "to initiate sex, or to 'hook up' with someone".

Now an app called Drunk Mode is available which allows users to block contacts for up to 12 hours and promises to make it impossible for users to ring someone during that time. It's already been downloaded 300,000 times.

This says more about our relationship with alcohol than with technology. If you follow the breadcrumbs back from a drunk dial, you find you were usually drinking to have a good time or to forget bad ones.

Either way you were never going to keep in those feelings that you thought were buried. No matter how 'over it' you think you are, alcohol will make sure to remind you that you most certainly are not.

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