The Hard Facts: When The Weather Outside is Frightful…Make a Call

It’s Research Wednesday! Where I share the latest, or most fascinating, in the science of friendship.

“During what the study authors called ‘uncomfortable’ weather — be it hot, humid, wet or cold — people tend to have longer phone conversations, but with a smaller circle of people than usual, including close friends and family.” (“Bad Weather Leads to Longer Chats with Family, Close Friends,”, 10/10/12)

When you’re stuck indoors, what do you do? Call your besties, apparently. There’s something comforting about snuggling into the couch with the phone on one ear and committing to a long chat like old times, and we never need comfort more than when the world outside our windows is keeping us indoors.

It’s not that we talk on the phone more when it’s gross out, according to researchers, just that our phone habits change. “We found that during uncomfortable weather, our ‘ringing anyone’ behavior declined, talking on the phone for longer to our close friends and family more than our wider network,” said Santi Phithakkitnukoon, co-author of this study.

The researchers put forth a couple of reasons for this: Maybe bad weather increases our feeling of isolation, so we reach out to stay connected. Or maybe bad weather simply makes it harder to interact with anyone face to face, so we go the next best route.

What do you think? Do you tend to call BFFs more when it’s gross out? (I’ve never noticed this phenomenon myself, but I’ll be paying attention now.) Why?



Filed under The Search

5 responses to “The Hard Facts: When The Weather Outside is Frightful…Make a Call

  1. anariffic55

    I do this, didn’t realize it before, but I do ~ for me it’s like eating macaroni and cheese or buttered toast, or putting a fire in the fireplace. It’s comforting to talk to my besties and/or my family when the world outside is a less-than-welcoming or humanly inhospitable place. Sometimes, like when the weather is GREAT, I am courageous and strong, ready to bound out of the house at a moment’s notice, and I often do. Other times, it seems like the dangerous world is closing in on me, the dark and the rain make it seem treacherous and unfriendly at best. If possible, I hole upwith a book or the computer, warm comfort food and certainly, connect with friends and family (just the closest ones.) Perhaps it’s soothing to hear of better weather elsewhere, or comforting to know that when the world outside is harsh or kind of scary, I can still connect with someone who is not.

    Thanks as always for your posts, I enjoy them very much!


  2. I suppose I do do more phone talking when the weather outside is frightful. And since I usually don’t have phone conversations with acquaintances, I talk to my closest friends.

  3. imagineastylishworld: Kat

    Hi! I nominated you for the Liebster Award. Thanks for having such a great blog! 🙂

  4. I don’t generally like to talk on the phone although I’m going to see whether I fall into this category you describe. I have a tendency to snuggle up with my dog when I don’t feel well or have some time to relax and watch a movie or it’s snowing outside and I’m trying to stay toasty!

  5. I love gross weather, for me a good reason to stay at home and read all that lovely books. I don’t remember calling my friends more with gross weather.

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