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Gen Z developing fear of phone calls, or "phone phobia"

Gen Z developing phone phobia, or fear of phone calls
Gen Z developing phone phobia, or fear of phone calls 04:54

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. -- It's a sign of the times. People are now opting to text or email instead of make phone calls.

But now research shows it's causing an issue for some who are developing "fears of the phone" or "phone phobia."

As CBS New York's John Dias reports, the main antagonists are Gen Z.

"I don't like it that much," said 16-year-old James Masler, of Huntington. "I rather just text."

"It's so easy to just like text someone quickly, and it's much more private than having a conversation out loud," said 18-year-old Lola Gitlin, of Port Washington.

Experts insist the shrinking number of voice-to-voice phone conversations is now leading to worries for teens and young adults.

Research out of Australia shows that 90 percent of Gen Z are anxious about speaking on the phone, and some say an awkward phone call is one of the top three things they would want to avoid in life.

"I do get a little bit anxious," said 23-year-old Destiny Quezada, of Dix Hills. "It's a lot of effort to pick up a phone and talk all the time."

With land lines becoming obsolete and younger generations getting their own cellphones earlier in life, experts say kids aren't learning the proper phone skills.

"It turns out that taking on the phone is a skill and, for decades, we didn't recognize that, because we all did it," said Mary Jane Copps, a.k.a. "The Phone Lady."

Copps has coached more than 15,000 workers on how to communicate properly. She thinks moving forward, things may get worse

"In terms of the anxiety, I do see that increasing," said Copps. "At the same time, I see business shifting."

Copps says while phone conversations are becoming less prevalent in the workplace, everyone should still know how to speak on the phone. She even suggests how you can practice.

"Cut out pictures from a magazine of a smiling man and woman and look at that while you're on the phone," said Copps. "So you feel more comfortable with how the other person is receiving your conversation."

Experts also say hearing someone's voice on the phone helps to develop trust and better relationships. 

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