Fear of the Phone: a Smile helps to combat the phobia

Quickly order a Pizza or a hair appointment – a call is sufficient. Not a big deal, you might say. For some people, but but. For Stephanie Cao, for example. She is young, articulate and has on Youtube more than 3000 subscribers. The 23-year-old Berlin student, has no inhibitions, on the Internet a multi-minute Video of yourself to upload. But she’s scared to make a doctor’s appointment by telephone.

As other victims they, too, taps into a Smartphone, or take a long way for an appointment on. The main thing not on a call. Phone phobia it’s called. There are many indications that the phenomenon could affect in the future, more and more people.

Phone phobia is not recorded alone, as yet, clinically, is not a firm diagnosis. You could, however, be quite a new expression of the social phobia, says Nadine D. Wolf, on phobias specialist senior physician at the psychiatric clinic at the University hospital Heidelberg. Reason is the changed communication.

Philippe Wampfler, media educator and lecturer at the University of Zurich, describes the change this way: “in the past, you had three options if you wanted to borrow the lawn mower to the neighbors: make phone calls, write a letter, or go over. Today to write a quick WhatsApp. This is the path of least resistance.”

According to the JIM study 2018 – JIM stands for youth, Information media exchange, 95 percent of young people between 12 and 19 years in Germany, regularly alone on this communication platform, with an average of 36 messages per day. Only one in five took advantage of a day the phone to make Calls.

“I think people had earlier inhibitions, to call someone,” says media educator Wampfler. “But after the time at school and in the Job, you have learned to use the phone. Just because you had to. Nowadays, more pleasant.”

If the phone-phobia is on the increase, is, in his opinion, the so-called Affordance, the offer nature of the media. This must not be the Problem. But it can be. The Internet is full of Reports of Affected Blogs on the topic and good tips for phone anxiety.

Fear of the phone call – “the heart beats up to my neck”

Stephanie Cao’s Video, in which she describes why she hates the Phone, speaks, apparently, many from the heart: “OMG – I’m so relieved,” writes a young woman. She thought she was the only one with the Problem. Even if your friend wants to talk to her, put off him and says, “that it is currently”.

And in “glam unity”, a Glamour-Forum for women, reported a woman: “even before the recording of the telephone handset, the heart beats up to my neck.” The amount of time you start pondering about the necessary call, it will take almost always longer than the actual call. Another, is by his own admission as well, everything is done by E-Mail or pushes it with her husband.


What did the Germans fear

Also in Karlsruhe, a student, sings otherwise in front of a large audience to easily Solos, confesses: “I had to call for a time, so very afraid of the Phone, I persuaded a friend, for me, somewhere. Now to do it.” She’s angry that she increases sometimes, in the fear: “Because you know it is totally stupid that you can’t just call.”

For the Heidelberg psychiatrist Wolf, there are a number of reasons why someone has inhibitions in front of the Phone: “the fear of being rejected, afraid to behave on the phone embarrassing or humiliating, or simply to the fact that it is on the phone in the center of attention and with unknown individuals.”

She sees the phone phobia as a kind of social phobias, which are common among young people: “There is evidence that up to 17 percent of young people between 14 and 20 years suffer from it.” Young women more than men. Of Blushing, Trembling, stuttering, to the fear of vomiting or wetting oneself – the symptoms in the feared situations can be according to the experience of the Physician for people Affected by serious.

When a doctor is talking to?

The new pattern of behavior should not be deemed pathological from the point of view of the Physician as a rule. Medical advice you should seek, if the fear is so great that it restricts everyday life. “Then you should Call the therapeutic instructions, re-learn,” she says. Could help practicing psychiatrists or psychotherapists – and, in addition, self-help groups where you can exchange ideas with like-minded people.

Phone phobia is according to the observation of media educator Wampfler, especially in a professional or administrative field, or in the case of Strangers. But what makes the Phone so heavy? “Inhibitions and Fears in relation to Phone to be larger, because the Exercise of working with the technology of the phone will be lost,” he estimates.

Add to this, according to psychiatrist and author, Dr. Wolf: “In the case of written communication, more than 90 percent of the communication are hidden patterns such as facial Expressions, Gestures or emphasis of statements.” It is not visible and thus less vulnerable to attack. The phone call must be responded to, however, flexible and spontaneous. “This is closely linked to social competence.”

According to her, it is first important that Sufferers break the vicious circle caused by a continuous avoidance strategy. You recommends, the fear to confront and to practice the Call aware of it. “In addition, we can note, for example, keywords or a introductory phrase, write it down. And very important: Smile helps!”

Who vorschickt other to Call, it is the opinion of the experts only in the short term, clever. And actually, the Phone makes the young people have fun: “You want to have a chat with the girlfriend,” says Wampfler. “Only technically, the long – running part in a different, video-telephony, or hours via a Smartphone with headphones.”

Youtuberin Stephanie Cao on the phone only when it needs to be. As possible in the morning right after waking Up. “I am relaxed yet very.”

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