I’m scared of so many things: moths, team sports, running/jumping onto a train when I know the doors are about to shut, wearing heels in public, street food, haircuts at places I’ve never had my hair cut before, Ubers… You get the idea.
A lot of my fears are ridiculous, but I really believe it’s not a problem because I am aware of how ridiculous I am. However, in the last couple of weeks I have developed a new fear. It’s massively impractical and is genuinely having an impact on my day to day life. I’m scared of answering the phone.
As a disclaimer, in case anyone I have definitely blanked before is reading this, it’s not entirely new – I’ve ignored my phone before, either because I was avoiding a thing, or a person, but right now, there’s nothing to ignore or avoid.
There are lots of ways to avoid talking on the phone. Some of my favourites include disconnecting the network cable, “accidentally” putting your phone on airplane mode, leaving your phone in a pocket, never having the ringer on or suppressing the guilt that comes as you watch a call come in.
A quick Google tells me that my new fear is either caused by my age (millennials ruined so many things, the Phone Call included, and I’m Gen Z so imagine what we’ll wreck) or classic social anxiety, which makes a lot of sense to me.
Like fears, I also have a lot of anxiety. It is almost always there, and sometimes bubbles up and is Really Bad. Other times, it is almost easy to ignore. Luckily, my flatmate and work pal Maddy is really embracing her new role as PA. Whether it be an unknown number or a call from someone I definitely know, she’s really good at pretending I’m seriously unavailable and getting the caller to put all their woes in a text or email.
And if you put it in a text or an email I’ll see it immediately because, like most other millennials or Gen X-ers, I genuinely have my phone with me all the time. I charge it about four times a day at the moment and see every tweet, but if it rings (like it was originally designed to do) I will immediately think the worst and avoid you and whatever the problem may be.
Regardless of whether you want a catch up or there has been some kind of crisis, remember that I will resent you if you try to call. Put it in an Insta DM or WhatsApp. Unless you’re my Nan, for hers are the only calls I’ll answer without a second thought.