Have you ever wondered why you never use all the minutes on your phone plan anymore? Why you instead had to add another feature for text messaging and how you keep hesitating to make an old fashioned phone call?
You are not alone. I’ve been reading more and more articles about a new trend that some people call “telephobia.” According to market researcher Nielsen, the amount of phone calls has decreased twelve percent since 2009, while text messaging has skyrocketed.
In the era of the text message, even voice mail has gotten a bad reputation. The online magazine Salon.com quotes a “telephobe‘s” reaction to voice mail; a person who seems to freak out just by hearing a recording: “I cannot handle how uncomfortable it makes me,” the person said. “There is an intimacy that seems too great, like a song that was written just for me.”
Written communication – whether it’s texting or email – does create distance. If I don’t want to deal with a person, I just won’t pick up the phone, and as a response write an email instead.