Image: Mean Girls
I love using my iPhone, but let’s make one thing clear: I hate actually talking on the phone.
Whether it’s calling a friend or making an appointment at the dentist, I will do anything to avoid a phone call. I will always prefer to text, email, or even meet in person. But dialing a phone number, and waiting for someone to pick up and say “hello”? No thanks. It’s too uncomfortable and nerve-wracking.
It turns out that I’m not alone in my fear of phone calls, particularly among the under-30 set. (I’m over 30, but let me pretend I’m in my 20s for this one story, please!) The generation who have grown up with ready access to the internet have no time for phone calls. Why call up a restaurant to make a reservation when you can do it online with the click of a button? Answering a ringing phone is simply too strange for us.
But is the internet and social media truly to blame? A fear of phone calls may have a more primitive source, according to Melissa Ferrari, psychotherapist and counsellor. She believes that humans are wired to build a sense of connection through seeing each other’s faces.
“Some people need the experience of ‘seeing’ another, which is something the phone doesn't offer and therefore it can cause internal disruption or fears,” suggests Melissa. That would explain why Skype feels more comfortable to me when compared with a phone call. Either that, or I just enjoy the extended selfie experience it provides.
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But don’t worry — a fear of phone calls is completely normal. And accepting the normalcy of this fear is the first step to overcoming it, according to Melissa. Because, let’s face it, talking on the phone is part of adult life.