Anxious Gen Zers Pay $480 an Hour to Overcome Fear of Phone Calls
It seems like just about everyone has a smartphone these days, but there’s one thing that many younger people don’t use them for — phone calls.
Mary Jane Copps founded The Phone Lady, a consultancy to help companies and workers improve their phone skills.
“Gen Z have never had the skills given to them,” Copps said. “In my generation, the phone was on the wall in everyone’s house, and we were taught to answer it and make calls at a young age.”
“Now we have several generations that were never taught anything about talking on the phone, and people have removed phones from their homes.”
Experts say that phone phobia is more common among younger generations.
“Gen Z and millennials have a lot less experience talking on the phone because texting and instant messaging have been the primary communication mode for their generation,” said Alison Papadakis, the director of clinical psychological studies at Johns Hopkins University.
“Since they have a lot less experience talking on the phone, they have less comfort with it. That sets up people who are vulnerable to social anxiety to have anxiety in that situation.”
Copps found a lucrative business in teaching young people how to talk on the phone. She charges $480 an hour for one-on-one coaching and $365 for 30-minute webinars as part of a seven-part program. For corporate workshops, the daily rate is $3,500.
“A common fear is what if someone asks me a question and I don’t know the answer,” she explained. “I often say, ‘For the next three days, I don’t want you to text anyone,’ and tell them to call their friends and family.”
“If they’re not even used to talking on the phone to their mother, then the process is so scary. So I can’t say I’m going to make them call prospective clients, as they would just fall apart — we start with their family or someone they know.”
Copps said that phone calls are “crucial in order to express interest and enthusiasm.”
Source: Business Insider