Breaking Down the 'Perfect' Phone Call

November 24, 2008 ( - Having solved all the world's problems, researchers have now determined the length - and content - of the "perfect" phone call.

UK researchers say that the perfect phone call should last nine minutes, 36 seconds – and contain a mix of chat about family news, current affairs, personal problems and the weather.

According to the research, sponsored by the Post Office (no, not THE US Post Office), the perfect call should break down as follows:

  • 3 minutes catching up with news about family and friends
  • 1 minute on personal problems
  • 1 minute on work/school
  • 1 minute on “other general topics”
  • 42 seconds on current affairs
  • 24 seconds on the weather
  • 24 seconds on the opposite sex
  • 12 seconds on celebrity gossip
  • 12 seconds on silence
  • 1 minute, 42 seconds on laughing

Experts came up with the “winning” conversational formula after analyzing what more than 2,000 people liked and disliked about talking on the phone.

One in five people said they spent most time on the phone to their mother, and only 3% named their father as the person they spent most time on the phone with – because dads so frequently hand the phone over to….Mom.