when harry met sally, phone call scene, phone, anxiety, carrie fisher, meg ryan

Are you phobic about answering the phone?

The telephone is ringing. Please no. Can’t we just text, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, anything but the phone? And worse, when the phone does ring impromptu: Is it the apocalypse? Your mother? Someone is dying/dead/the bank/you’re fired. So we have good news for you – this is not your social anxiety talking (or rather not talking). Well it is a bit, but quite a lot of normal-ish other people have it too. We are making fewer and fewer phone calls because we all fear the phone. And according to a piece on The Science of Us we are right to be afraid…

Reason to be fearful 1: What is the other person is thinking…

90% of communication is non-verbal. So you can’t tell if they are bored/interested/loving you. Or pointing to the phone and making a ‘wanker’ gesture with their hand. NIGHTMARE.

Reason 2: You have no time…

No time to carefully craft a response curated with 15 of your closest friends and colleagues. You have no time to think about what you want to say to something like: “Shall we go out later?” You sound flaky and faintly idiotic. Rather than witty and busy. You are cornered.

Reason 3: The horror of the halfalogue

Eavesdroppers will only hear half the dialogue. Who wants to be busted talking to your mother or booking a Brazilian? You feel like you’re being judged. And you are. The paucity of phone conversations means eavesdropping is now just a little random joy for everyone at work/on the overground. Either a joy or deeply irritating.

Reason 4: You are really out of practice

Remember when you used to spend hours on the phone after school? And you were, like, so fluent? Well that was 20 (ahem) years ago. #rusty

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