General Question

desiree333's avatar

Do Americans Hang Up On The Phone Without Saying Goodbye?

Asked by desiree333 (3206points) March 13th, 2009

I’ve heard that Americans hang up on the phone without saying goodbye, not in a rude way or anything they just apparently do not say goodbye. I think its true because
on American movies whenever they are on the phne I notice they dont say goodbye. Is this true? Any why?

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44 Answers

aprilsimnel's avatar

That’s not true. We say good-bye. When I end my calls with most people, I say the words “good-bye,” or “talk to you later” for buddies.

MrMeltedCrayon's avatar

I’m an American. I say goodbye on the telephone. My family and friends do too, with the exception of one (and she claims it’s a waste of time). Hope that helps.

Sakata's avatar

Everyone I know says goodbye except my teenage daughter.


eambos's avatar

I only do not say good bye when the call ends on a bad note.

ubersiren's avatar

I’ve noticed on TV (the telly) a lot that the characters often don’t say anything and just hang up. I always thought it was weird as an American.

ponderinarf's avatar

“American” is a broad word used to paint and portray many differences. Because so many different cultures and sub-cultures exist in the United States, the chances of saying good-bye being less prevalent is a given. On top of this, there is the ADD super culture, thanks to the internet and Myspace “minisodes.”

Really, it is a person to person, situation to situation matter.

Mr_M's avatar

I wouldn’t say that. What we DO do wrong, and people should be more sensitive to it (including myself) is when we chat on-line, then just leave without telling the other person we’re leaving. I’ve stood on-line waiting for a response that never came because the person left and didn’t tell me MANY times.

desiree333's avatar

@sakata, did you seriously just call your daughter a bitch?

tinyfaery's avatar

I always say goodbye. However, I have noticed that many people in L.A. (and I say that because on the phone a lot at work) do not say goodbye before hanging up. It doesn’t really come across as rude. It irks me a bit because I never know when to hang up

tinyfaery's avatar

@sakata Love the honesty. =)

casheroo's avatar

I have a very bad habit of not saying good bye. I just hang up, or say “see ya” and hang up. My mother will call me back and yell at me to say good bye to her.

desiree333's avatar

@Sakata, why?, are you totally serious about this, because thats really scary coming from a mother, father. Guessing your a guy.

Mr_M's avatar

When my daughter was very young I used to refer to her (affectionately) as a “bitchette” (i.e., “little bitch”).

Allie's avatar

I don’t always say “goodbye.” Sometimes it’s “talk to you later” or “see ya” or similar. I always say something that ends the conversation cleanly though.

Sakata's avatar

@desiree333Scary” seems a bit melodramatic.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Nope. It’s not true.

augustlan's avatar

Another myth about ‘Americans’ busted. I always say some form of goodbye before hanging up. So does everyone I ever talk to on the phone.

tinyfaery's avatar

My wife’s dad once said the following statement: “You are turning into a bitch, just like your mother.” My wife (not the bitchy daughter) and I busted out laughing. Good times.

marinelife's avatar

I only fail to say goodbye if I am furious at someone and hanging up on them. Even then I usually announce it, “I’m hanging up now.”

I had a boss once who spoke very slowly and in a measured way. He called from out of town on a business trip.

I asked to speak to him, because I had a question. He answered my question, and then there was an extended silence on the phone.

I was a bit nervous talking to him anyway, and I thought he was done so I said, “OK, then. Thanks, Mr. Boss,” and hung up.

He called back pissed off. (I heard. I was not allowed to talk to him.)

Bluefreedom's avatar

No, it isn’t true in my opinion, and it’s a bad stereotype for Americans in general. If memory serves me correctly (and it does on most occasions) I end all my phone calls by saying “goodbye” or using some kind of familiar phrase that ends the conversation. It’s common courtesy.

Darwin's avatar

I also end my calls with good bye or at least an equivalent phrase that indicates that the call is finished, such as “Well, then, see you tomorrow!” or “No, I am not interested in donating to your cause at this time.”

My son never says good bye when he is talking to me, generally because he is angry at me for not being home so that he has to call me to begin with. My daughter usually says “Bye!’ unless she is angry with me. Then, like her brother, she just hangs up. However, she doesn’t usually swear at me first as he does.

steve6's avatar

Maybe younger brash skateboarding rapper types don’t have any manners but the people I converse with seem to be pretty good at talking on the phone. The movies are full of weird stuff. They always leave the car door open when exiting, even if it’s in the middle of the street. They always, I mean always, cock the gun even when it should have been cocked in the first place. They always pick up the murder weapon and get their prints on it. They always throw down the weapon after they have used it to defend themselves and before the killer gets back up to do them in. They always press the answer button on the flip phone when most people simply flip it open to answer it. They always click the TV remote loudly even though they’re silent in real life. What really bugs me in real life is people who call on the telephone and fail to identify themselves. “Hello, this is Fred. May I speak with Joe?” “This is he.” so on and so on. “Goodbye”

galileogirl's avatar

Sakata has now been identified as Alex Baldwin!

Americans do use some form of language that indicates the call is over. It may not be specifically Goodbye, It could be Later, See ya, Bye now. In my family we say Love You. The only time it is acceptable to just hang up is when it is a robo-call or a telephone solicitor. “Dude. I’m on the no-call list” click.

Jeruba's avatar

Ages ago I noticed that people in movies and TV shows typically hang up without saying good-bye. I have never known anyone who did that in real life. So when we watch something that includes a phone call, one of us usually says “Bye” out loud when the character hangs up without saying it.

@desire333, you don’‘t say where you’re from, but if you got this impression from American-made TV shows and movies, it must be just another way that those things invite people to draw the wrong conclusions about us.

Or maybe, if many people in LA don’t say good-bye (even though my cousins from LA always do), they don’t put it in the films they make either.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m from L.A. (obviously); I say goodbye. I just notice a trend where someone will just say thank you, or I’ll call you back, or something to that effect. goodbye is soo 20th century. :)

tb1570's avatar

I’m an American. I always say some sort of good-bye/parting phrase. So does every other American I know.

creativejuices's avatar

Personally, I get a little pissed when someone just stops talking and hangs up. Laughably its my father that does it the most. I have noticed a gender difference regarding this type of non-salutation.

iJimmy's avatar

I think most people end a phone call with some type of “good-bye”. But in most cases it’s pretty insincere and just done out of habit. I’ve actually had other straight men end a call with me by saying “love you”. I assume (hope) because the last spoke with their wife and just said that out of habit. I notice that we Americans appear polite. But don’t really mean it. We just say stuff out of habit. Like “how’s it going”. When we say that…. We don’t really want to know.

iJimmy's avatar

I always liked it when Kramer would answer the phone with ” Go!”. I’ve tried that. You usually get a long pause and a “what?” back.

aidje's avatar

@steve6 “brash skateboarding rapper types”

I’ve known several skaters, none of them particularly rude or brash. My roommate is a rapper, and he’s one of the nicest, most polite people I know. Also, my rommate has his phone settings such that he has to press the button once it’s open. So does my friend downstairs. He’s also polite and, coincidentally, not a rapper. And most people have caller ID. But the only reason I’m saying any of this is that I think you should ease up on the subcultural assumptions.

mangeons's avatar

I usually end phone calls with friends with a variation of “Later” “Talk to ya” or “Bye”. If we have a fight, (like with my mom) I either a) just hang up or b) Say “Whatever. Bye.” and hang up.

Mr_M's avatar

Nobody said it, so I will:

“Never can…say goodbye…”

EmpressPixie's avatar

My boss is way more likely to say “I’ll talk to you later” or something than an actual “bye”. And some of his associates who call for businessy reasons do not say “good bye” at all. It’s really annoying. But the only reason it is annoying is that Americans have clear social norms of saying good bye.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@mangeons: I was so guilty of “Whatever. Bye.” in college when I fought with my mom.

Siren's avatar

@steve6: “Hurray for Hollywood!”

Yes, I agree that due to the wonderful venue of the movies, American culture is often misunderstood on certain issues. Think of Hollywood like Bollywood in India: an exaggerated, often unrealistic portrayal of day-to-day life. If we travel to India, we are most likely not likely to see couples in colorful outfits dancing on mountaintops proclaiming their love for each other, or thousands of individuals line-dancing in saris on the streets.

It’s amusing, it’s entertaining. It’s the movies.

Furthermore, in general, in America, hanging up on someone without saying some form of goodbye is bad etiquette, as you have not provided a verbal cue that the conversation is over, thereby leaving the other individual hanging and listening to your dial tone. In most cases (except an explainable urgent need to get off the phone immediately), hanging up on someone is considered a form of anger or rudeness to the recipient, and is reacted to as such. I guess we are similar to many other countries including the UK, Australia, Europe and other countries, but I’m just guessing about the other countries.

steve6's avatar

@aidje I said most people just flip it open to answer it – not all. Get your story straight if you want to take me on!

tinyfaery's avatar

@EmpressPixie I notice this in the business world, as well.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

American here. My best friend never says “bye” when she gets off the phone and it pisses me off so much! I think it’s so rude! This habit of hers is only a couple of years old and I have no idea why she started doing it, but I hate it.

mangeons's avatar

@DrasticDreamer have you ever pointed out to her that it bothers you? Maybe she just doesn’t know that it bothers you, and she might be willing to stop.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@mangeons I have pointed it out, but all she said was that she didn’t really know why she started doing it, either. I told her it bothered me and she stopped for a while, but it started back up again as soon as some time went by. She, for whatever reason, picked up a very bad habit. lol

Siren's avatar

@DrasticDreamer: Do you know if she does that with others too? If not, you’re special. Regardless, maybe you should just do as the Romans do and hang up on her before she hangs up on you. That way, she’ll figure out that uh oh, maybe this isn’t such a good idea and stop hanging up. If she calls you on it, just say “Oh, sorry. I thought the conversation was over, so I hung up”.

Ya know what I’m sayin’? :)

likipie's avatar

I don’t say good-bye when I hang up the phone but that’s because when I say good-bye to someone it makes me feel like I’m never going to see that person again. Sometimes I’ll say “see you later” or “talk to you later” but most of the time I just don’t say anything. But I don’t think you can say ALL Americans do that, it’s not a cultural thing, merely personal preference.

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