Pocket Dialing

Butt Dial by Evan Dewan

Pocket dialing (also known as butt dialing) refers to the accidental placement of a phone call while a person’s mobile phone or cordless phone is in the owner’s pocket or handbag. If the caller remains unaware, the recipient will sometimes overhear whatever is happening in the caller’s vicinity. Typically, the call is caused by objects in a person’s pocket or bag poking buttons on the phone. Because of typical sequences of button presses, the accidentally dialed number is often one that has been recently called from that phone, or one near the beginning or end of the phone’s contact list; a consequence of this is that people whose names begin with letters near the beginning or the end of the alphabet sometimes receive more accidental calls.

The keypad lock feature found on most mobile phones is intended to help prevent accidental dialing. However, it is still possible to forget to activate this lock (if the phone does not automatically activate it after a timeout), or to deactivate it accidentally. Many phones allow the emergency number to be called even when the keylock is active. In addition to the inconvenience and embarrassment that may result from an erroneously dialed number, the phenomenon can have other consequences including using up a phone user’s airtime minutes. Apps to prevent pocket dialing exist for smartphones. Several are available for Android based phones such as Call Confirm.

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