Have you ever answered a phone call only to be greeted by silence, background noise, or an entire conversation being had about you? The butt dial is a colloquial term used to describe the occurrence of your cell phone dialing someone you didn’t mean to call, as your phone rests in your back pocket. But the butt dial could occur inside of a jam-packed purse, in a coat pocket, or from a toddler’s hand. All that matters is that the phone call occurred without your knowledge from a source that didn’t mean to call one of your contacts.
Is Your Phone Making Calls Without Your Permission?
The butt dial can be easily avoided by making sure that you keep your phone locked with a passcode or other password obstacle. Without a defensive lock screen, it is possible that your device can be turned on and any number of apps can be opened. Once the phone is awake from its resting mode, it can even make calls when it hears your voice.
If you enable Siri or another voice recognition service, you need to take extra precautions with your phone. For example, if your phone fell into your purse in the awake mode, and it heard you say, “Seriously, I’d like to call Martha and tell her what I think of her.” Your phone might hear, “Siri, call Martha.” While you divulge to your best friend over margaritas what you really think of Martha, Martha could be on the other line listening in. Martha may just be an annoying coworker or acquaintance, but imagine if she were your boss. You could end up like this guy, who butt-dialed his boss and got fired after his boss overheard the man complaining about him to his wife.
Or this guy who accidentally called his parents while he was a frat party in college. They listened to him flirt with girls at a party for an entire 7 minutes before they got bored with his lame tactics and hung up the phone.
There are plenty funny and horrific tales out there about calling people you didn’t mean to call. It has probably happened to you at least once or twice and you’ve probably received an unintentional phone call or two. It’s just a reality of the world we live in; communication is everywhere.
Listening in on something that you shouldn’t be listening to can provide a lighthearted laugh or it might turn into you being grounded for discussing the ins and outs of creating your very own gravity bong with your friends, like this kid did on accident as he butt dialed his very conservative mom.
Preventing a Butt Dial
In most cases, butt dialing doesn’t come with very serious consequences, but that doesn’t mean you should not protect yourself from the infamous butt dial. Here are a few simple ways to keep your phone from dialing someone you didn’t mean to.
First, check your settings to be sure that your lock screen is always enabled and voice calling is turned off. Enabling your lock screen stops your phone’s screen from bumping into something that would turn your phone on from its resting mode. Turning off voice calling ensures that if your phone is on, and you say someone’s name out loud the phone will not automatically try to contact that person.
Second, before you put your phone away be sure to press the sleep button that turns your phone screen to black before putting your phone down. This will ensure that you won’t accidentally press the contact or call button while putting your phone away. If you often forget about pressing the screen off button before putting your phone down, go into your display settings and choose a short amount of time where the phone will shut itself off. You can usually choose a period of time between 30 seconds and 5 minutes until your phone will auto lock itself and go into rest mode. Choose 30 seconds if you are unable to remember to make the switch.
Knowing When to Break it Off with Siri
Siri’s your girl most of the time, but sometimes she can get a little too involved in your personal business. It might be time to say goodbye to Siri if she’s the type to call your friends without your knowledge. There are also ways to control Siri and O.K. Google features in your settings if you can’t bear to part with voice calling, but keep these in mind if you need a little more control over access. Be sure to check your phone settings now so you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of butt dialing!