I heard a lady talking on the news about a condition called “phone phobia.” She is charging $480.00 per hour to train millenials to talk on the phone instead of relying solely on texting to communicate with friends, family, and business associates.
I had to stop and think about that for a minute…
I have a phone phobia! I hate to talk on the phone. If I call you instead of texting, it’s a real emergency. I will type paragraphs before I will pick up the phone and call someone. If I miss a call, I text and ask if you really meant to call me. I text my kids, my husband, who is sitting across the room, and my friends. I know you can’t text a landline, but every now and then, I try.
So why am I phone phobic?
In my work life, the phone was the bane of my existence. I spent a huge amount of my day returning calls. It was hard to work in the time to take care of the things that I promised to do during those phone conversations. A call from a customer meant there was a problem. We had cell phones, but there was no texting back then. If you’re talking to someone who has a problem, they sometimes restate the issue several times. In a text, they only type it once.
A big part of aging is there is less memory to go around. If I have information in a text, I can refer back to it. If I’m told something in a phone conversation, I won’t remember it long enough to repeat it. I might even think I heard you wrong or missed important details. Worse than that, I might call you up and tell you what you just told me because I forgot it was you who called. I might argue with you when you try to challenge me on the details. This is not going to be easy, is it? I’m starting to hyperventilate just thinking about it.
Nevertheless, I’m going to try to do better. I really do miss the sound of my children’s voices. I think it’s difficult sometimes to read the intended tone into a text conversation. Are they angry, kidding, happy, or sad? Did spell-check change that word? Oh no, spell-check changed my word and I didn’t notice. I once told Cuz Val that Gus had to quarterback for 2 weeks. Spell-check changed quarantine to quarterback. (He had been exposed to covid.) She said, “What team? I’ll be sure and watch!”
I will make it a point to call more rather than texting, but I can’t promise not to be relieved if I get your voicemail.
I guess this will be a New Year’s resolution. I’ve got this! I’ll focus on overcoming my phone phobia rather than eating healthy and exercising. I can only handle one issue at a time.
Anyway, call me sometime…but you might want to follow-up with an email.