Too much texting is making people afraid to speak on the phone

Posted: Updated:
EDISON -

Many New Jerseyans use smartphone to surf the internet, post on social media or communicate with their friends and family via text messaging.

But health experts say that an increasing number of people have developed a fear of actually using their phones to speak to another person with their phone. It is known as “phone anxiety.”

“Technology is both man’s best invention and worst invention,” says psychologist and Rutgers associate professor Dr. Peter Economou.

Medical professionals say that “phone anxiety” is not an actual diagnosis, but falls within the anxiety spectrum. Symptoms include avoidance, nervousness, stomach issues, sweaty palms, shallow breath and a rapid heart rate.

Dr. Economou says that technology factors into this issue.

"We can order a car; we can order food; we can order clothes. We can order anything we need without human interaction,” he says.

Dr. Economou says that there are ways to counteract the anxiety.

"We work towards exposure, so we expose people to the phone calls. So I've actually had clients make a phone call in session,” he says.

Other treatments include general talk therapy, medicine, exercise and acupuncture.

 

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