It’s crazy but we’re all frightened by the sound of the telephone

Friday, 17 February, 2017

I’m one to avoid telephones if I can, though that can’t be a surprise, but it appears, as with Robert Palmer, I’m not alone. More people, it seems, are shying away from making or taking phone calls, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with them though.

Hating the phone doesn’t necessarily mean you have social anxiety – the two often go hand in hand, but some people who are otherwise perfectly fine with social interactions have a deep-seated fear of making or receiving a call. And besides, you’re in good company. There’s not a lot of hard data out there about how many people hate the phone, but research suggests that more are shying away from it.

As a method of communication, it is one of the more invasive. The phone rings, interrupting whatever you’re in the middle of, and you feel an obligation to stop what you’re doing, and take the call. Letters, email, messaging, and texting, all allow you the option to respond later.

But not the phone, or not, at least, back in the day. Today we have the luxury of being able to reject calls, or route them though to voicemail, for people still using voicemail, that is. When it comes to trying to contact someone though, they’re not much more effective.

The person you’re attempting to call is either driving, in a meeting, out of range, or simply isn’t answering. So you reach their voicemail, if they have one. Aside then from emergencies, and situations where you can arrange a time to call someone else, they’re good for nothing.

Short wonder telephones give rise to anxiety.

Related: , ,