On Air with CNA938: Phone call anxiety

Yesterday, I went on air to chat with Lance Alexander and Daniel Martin on CNA938 Radio about why young people don’t like making phone calls.

Surveys show that many young people feel anxious when they receive a phone call or are asked to make one. To Gen X and Boomer folks, this seems very odd, but I shared that I too feel anxiety when I receive any phone call these days!

I immediately think: “Is a family member in trouble? Did someone complain about my work? Did I forget to pay a bill?”

Why so? I simply don’t receive that many calls these days (well, apart from spam calls). In 2024, it is the norm to type more messages than it is to use our voicebox.

As I explained on air, young people don’t have issues talking to someone on the phone or over Zoom. It’s how the call happens that matters. To get a call going, many people (young or old) will message the other party to ask, “Is it convenient to chat?” It is considered rude or intrusive to just spring a call on someone.

Like it or not, this is the current etiquette in social communication and it’s something I practice too.

How then should bosses, who are extremely busy, deal with people who don’t pick up the call? My view is that they should learn to emphathise with how younger people communicate today, and find a middle ground to set expectations. As a middle-aged guy, I’m always careful not to impose my old-school views on the younger generation.

Do you get anxiety when someone calls you? Check out the link to hear our 30min conversation.