The Tyranny of Butt-Dialing Ends Now

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After coming across the alarming statistic that forty percent of the New York City's 911 calls came from "butt dials" we were baffled that people still keep phones so near their butts, as this is generally a very bad idea. 

We figured America had long since recognized that the back pocket is one of the least ideal places to store a fragile electronic device, but 4 million of the 10.4 million accidental 911 calls this year came from butts according to numbers provided by the city and reported in The New York Daily News. Or at least enough of them did for "butt dial" to act as the common man's term for these inadvertent calls. And imagine how many other non-911 numbers our tushes dialed this year alone. Guys, butt dialing shouldn't happen, because cell phones should be nowhere near your butts. 

The back pocket is an unreasonable place to keep one's phone for more reasons than just the occasional accidental phone call. Here are just a few reasons we stopped storing our cells back there.

  • Butts often sit down on hard surfaces, which can crush or crack fragile electronics.
  • The back pocket gets awfully close to the toilet. Water is bad for electronics -- learned that one the hard way ... twice.
  • Your butt looks like it has a goiter. 
  • It hurts to sit on a plastic block.
  • There are a lot of other, better places to keep a phone, where it is less susceptible to getting smashed up against chairs or falling into water. Like, front pockets or purses or backpacks. 

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Perhaps, even after reading these rational points, you refuse to remove the phone from that back pocket. Okay, fine. But, then let's work on the dialing part. Dumb or smart, most phones these days have screen locks of some sort. It takes far too many swipes and codes to butt dial an iPhone or Android with the screen off. But that requires the user click the little button that turns the screen off after usage. Do that! Flip-phoners probably encounter this issue far less, as the clamshell protects the keys. So if you insist on staying low-tech, consider a less naked phone. So many solutions. 

Why are we so passionate about this issue? Not only are empty calls and 8 minute voicemails an annoying time-suck, but being on the receiving end of a butt-dial is soul-crushing. You feel wanted, until you realize you're a mistake. Also, it's probably a hassle for the police, who had to sift through 4 million butt calls, rather than deal with the other 6.4 million legitimate emergency calls. 

Image via Shutterstock by dukibu

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.