Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Phone Phobia: When Texting Isn’t Enough


There’s an important book out right now called “Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport.

I’m about halfway through it, as I read on plane flights between countries in Southeast Asia.  Fair warning to those who are close to me: this is going to be a game changer.  Details to come. I will be following much of what Newport suggests and it is going to affect the way I use the technology available to me.

There is a term used in a chapter I just read called “Phone Phobia.”  It’s borrowed from a book by Sherry Turkle.

I relate to this.

The phone would ring and my Mom or Dad would answer (This is the early 1980s. There were no cell phones.)  The dreaded “Bernie, it’s for you”.


Who is it? What do they want? What if it’s a girl? Oh gosh, it is a girl.

Talking on the phone with no body language or visual queues causes a great deal of stress and anxiety for many of us.  And still does.  My previous job required me to make cold phone calls during the first week.

I almost quit.

Now most of us don’t have to talk on the phone.  We can text.

But this is worse.

We are eliminating actual conversation from our lives.  Human interaction cannot be relegated to emojis.  We aren’t wired that way.

Here’s to deep and meaningful conversations.  That’s what my time is consumed within these days of travel and visiting folks doing some of the most important work in our world.

A text — or even a phone call — is not enough.

It probably isn’t enough for you, either.