Intrigued by a little-known social anxiety called Telephobia – a fear of making or receiving phone calls – one British podcaster is punching 11 random digits into his phone and asking whoever answers a personal question about life, love, sex, friendship and infidelity. The feature has generated surprising, sweet and often hilarious responses from unwitting members of the British public.
“I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know Telephobia was a thing until three weeks ago when someone tweeted about it. My long-standing curiosity about strangers coupled with my research into Telephobia inspired this feature” recalls CK Goldiing, a double award-winning Creator from Sheffield, UK and host of the Worry About it Later podcast.
“Obviously, when I ring strangers and ask them personal questions, there is a degree of apprehension there, after all, neither of us have the luxury of seeing each other’s face, which in the real world, definitely eases social awkwardness. Some of the people I call are shy and think chatting to a guy they don’t know is odd, so they hang-up, but I love finding those friendly souls who are willing to have a meaningful chat with me – it’s delicious.”
So far, Goldiing’s unsolicited calls have featured Bo, from Kent – who, when asked what’s the worst thing a friend could ever do to her, answered, “Sleep with my boyfriend!”. Asked the same question, Elvis, from Bristol, was unusually forgiving, answering, “Nothing, I could forgive most things.” Amusingly, one man’s idea of a friend’s indiscretion was, “If he stood on my new trainers!”
Elsewhere in the weekly podcast, one woman was asked if she can be completely certain of her husband’s fidelity. She replied, “Yes, absolutely.” As the conversation developed, we learned that she and her husband have been married for fifty years.
Goldiing’s innovative content extends beyond podcasting – having previously released award-winning short films, documentaries and advertising campaigns – all showcasing his natural talent for engaging meaningfully with strangers.