Thursday, December 29, 2005

Sleep as a socially shameful activity

When a ringing phone wakes you up, do you deny to the caller that you were asleep?

If someone wakes you up, do you say that you were "just resting my eyes"?

There is an interesting thread on Metafilter on this topic.

Is this societal shame universal, or Western, or American?

What do you do when someone wakes you up? Do you deny it? If yes, why?

9 Comments:

Blogger Kim said...

I'm always sleeping and I always deny it! Usually so the caller won't feel bad about waking me up!

4:19 PM  
Blogger gaw3 said...

I remember the fashion as an undergrad to claim you were getting by on 4-5 hours of sleep. It was never remotely possible for me...

7:55 AM  
Blogger Denis said...

I am a Brazilian, living in Brazil and I can assure you that to my knowledge, in this country, the most prevalent attitude towards being asleep in public is of shame.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Vincenze said...

I have definately noticed that the person on the other end of the line sounds suprised when they realise I was sleeping...

I know, it's hard to understand, you're awake now so it's hard for your simple human mind to re-empathise with your previous feeling of being tired that you had about say ohh 2 hours ago...

God forbid people should have different sleeping patterns, no, everyone should sleep from 10-6, work from 9-5 and take two days of in every 7...and everyone should wear that grey space suit all the characters of the future seem to wear.

Now I'm going back to bed! :)

Vincenze.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Ruby said...

I have a hard-and-fast policy: I will not answer the phone if I am in bed, even if I am not asleep (ie: just woke up and still lying there). It's never worth it to get out of bed for the phone.

The only exception is if I have the phone next to the bad and I'm expecting a call.

12:59 PM  
Blogger coturnix said...

I let the machine pick up no matter when and where. Once I hear who is calling I answer if I want to. If it's really important - they'll call back later. I will NOT get out of bed unless I hear it is something really urgent - the matter of life or death.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Dumb Ox said...

I'm afraid I admit too to being a call-screener by conviction. There was a time when people who called were generally calling your house for some socially useful reason. Now those calls are the minority of what comes aknockin' on our phone.

If I do pick up while sleeping, it depends on the time of day!

Dumb Ox
http://thomistic.blogspot.com

4:30 PM  
Blogger Anonymous Expat said...

If someone calls and wakes me up at a time other than the middle of the night or crack of dawn, I will almost reflexively say that I wasn't sleeping.

I think my reason for that is I think that if I say, "Yes, I was sleeping" their likely response will be, "Oh I'm sorry I'll call back" and they'll swiftly hang up. I tell them that I wasn't sleeping so they'll stay on the line and tell me why it is they've called.

I only will say, "Yes, I was sleeping" if I intend to immediately terminate the conversation, you know? What kind of person would stay on the line and continue to talk to you after you say, "Yes I was sleeping." You know? Unless of course they had something _incredibly_ important to tell you, something that absolutely couldn't wait until later.

On the other hand I've never understood the types who fall asleep in front of the tv, and when they wake up 15 minutes after you've switched the channel will insist, "hey I was watching something! I wasn't asleep, I was just resting my eyes!"

6:30 PM  
Blogger John Wilkins said...

I shout very loudly, "do you know what TIME it is?!?!". They rarely ring back again when I'm sleeping.

11:56 PM  

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