If you were born before 1980 and don’t belong to the so-called “millennial generation,” you probably don’t have too many problems keeping a phone call going. Also, you might start a chat on a network like Whatsapp and end up calling to continue the conversation.
But for the next generations, this kind of communication has become a real problem. So much so that the number of people who have so-called “telephone anxiety,” or a dislike of talking on the phone, has skyrocketed. This is especially true among millennials. We tell you what it is made of and why it exists.
What is Phone Anxiety?
People with phone anxiety, also called telephone phobia, don’t like talking on the phone and feel uncomfortable and scared when they do. The rejection is so bad that the person who feels it usually hides their phone’s ringtone so they don’t know what’s going on. But this kind of anxiety makes life hard because sooner or later, problems have to be solved over the phone. People who have this kind of anxiety are clearly at a disadvantage compared to those who don’t have any problems in this way.
Causes of Telephone Anxiety
At the moment, most telephone anxiety is caused by the fact that instant messaging systems on mobile phones are used almost all the time and are more important than any other interaction. But you have to practice verbal communication to learn the skills you need to understand and be understood by your interlocutor, to be able to empathize and get information from the way someone speaks. Verbal communication also makes it easier to respond quickly and come up with new ideas, since you can’t take as long as you want to write and rewrite an answer or check audio before sending it.
The Millennial Generation
This telephone anxiety is most common among millennials or people born between 1981 and 1986, as well as the generations after them, Z and Alpha. Baby boomers, who were born between 1949 and 1968, and members of Generation X, who were born between 1969 and 1980, usually don’t have any trouble talking on the phone. In fact, we can spend a lot of time on it, but millennials have become known as the “mute generation” because they don’t like to use the phone the way it was meant to be used.
Generations born after 1981 have replaced phone calls with short, written messages, and they don’t even realize how important it is to say certain things out loud and in person, like saying hello, condolences, or that someone has died. The truth is that many of them suffer from anxiety that makes it impossible for them to do so, and just thinking about the situation makes them feel bad and makes their heart beat faster.
When we are talking on the phone at the same time, we are vulnerable. This is not a problem for people who are used to talking to people in this way, but for people who use screens as a shield, this state of vulnerability is. When it comes to expressing yourself in a text message, it can be a source of stress and worry, and it can also be frustrating when you don’t have everything under control.
When we talk to someone, we hear things like their tone of voice, pauses, exclamations of happiness, and stumbling sentences. You can’t fake a laugh with an emoji. But you need to be in these kinds of situations to learn empathy, how to deal with frustration and maturity. The less you do it, the less you learn, and the harder it is. Also, when you talk on the phone, you have to be spontaneous and up-to-date, but it’s much easier to lie or hide the truth in a text message or recorded audio.
How to Overcome Phone Anxiety?
The more experience you have talking to people on the phone and in person, the less stressful it will be to use this medium to talk to people and improve your social skills. The best way to talk to someone is to use both text messages and phone calls. A text message shouldn’t replace a phone call, and vice versa. If we can send a simple message or comment in a text message without any trouble, we shouldn’t bother someone by calling them.
Active listening is one of the most important ways to improve our communication skills at work and at home, and the only way to learn how to do it is to do it. The most important things are to listen to the other person, explain yourself well, make sure you didn’t misunderstand us, and make sure we understand what you want to say. In fact, WhatsApp is a source of conflict in some situations because it makes it hard to talk to each other or trust each other. The person who writes tends to think that the person who gets his message knows everything about it, even though the other person hasn’t been told more than a few words and an emoticon or gif.
In any case, telephone anxiety can turn into social anxiety, which can affect all parts of a person’s life. If you find that your telephone anxiety is getting in the way of your daily life and is hard to control, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. You will feel better, have more peace of mind, and live a better life.