You are probably already wondering: Why on earth would anyone be scared or have the fear of talking on the phone? The funny truth is that the fear of making and receiving phone calls is so common it has its own name: phone phobia (also telephone phobia or telephobia). A number of Nigerians who have phones and seem to be married to their devices actually struggle with this “ailment”.
Many phone users find it easy to text with their phones, email on them, navigate with them, and then we play Candy Crush on them, but when it comes to picking up the telephone and talking, it becomes a different ball game. Actually, there are quite a number of reasons why a person might be afraid of phone calls. Jumia Travel, Africa’s No.1 online hotel booking service tries to quell your curiosity by sharing a few reasons why Nigerians sometimes refuse to talk on their phones.
They feel vulnerable
A majority of Nigerians prefer to communicate via e-mail, texts, voice notes and other forms of communication that do not require impromptu response. These forms of communication presents them with the opportunity to edit whatever they want to say and coin it in the best way possible before they send it in. With phone calls, they have to respond immediately and so, they do not have that option of editing themselves. This makes them feel more vulnerable as most become afraid of saying what they will later regret.
Fear of being recorded
No one likes to be recorded unawares, but for some Nigerians, the fear that they will be recorded while having a conversation on the phone is so great that they try to wriggle themselves out of any situation that involves them having to talk on the phone. Some even pick up the phone and refrain from saying anything else other than “yes” or “No”, while others even disguise their voice so it is not easily recognized.
This is the number one reason why Nigerians do not talk on the phone. They buy air time which they mostly refer to as “credit” either by topping up or buying cards from registered vendors, but most of the time, the air time runs out so fast that they have to spend a substantial sum to make a long phone call. As a result, some develop this phone phobia and only feel comfortable when texting or communicating via Social Media chat platforms like Whatsapp, Viber or IMO.
When you ask some Nigerians who do not like to make phone calls why they have a phobia for it, they tell you they do not like the way their voice sounds on the phone. It may seem like a very trivial reason, but a number of Nigerians actually refrain from making calls as a result of this.
Some Nigerians develop the fear of talking on the phone after having a negative experience over a call, like a breakup or a bad medical diagnosis. They eventually feel extremely anxious whenever they are on calls and go to great lengths to avoid phone calls (even from friends!).