There are all sorts of phobias out there – fear of heights, fear of various animals, fear of public speaking – and a lot of them are actually pretty common.
In fact, we reckon it’s more difficult to find someone without a phobia of something like snakes or spiders rather than someone with it.
But a phobia we never really new existed until today is the phobia of mobile phones. Not the phobia of being without your phone (which is known as Nomophobia) but the actual fear of using a phone to speak with someone.
This is something that Schapelle Corby says she’s suffering from following her time in Bali’s Kerobokan Prison.
Schapelle joined Kyle and Jackie O in studio this morning for a tell-all interview about her time serving a sentence for drug-smuggling in Bali and what her life is like now that she’s back in Australia, when she revealed the interesting fear.
“I have a huge phobia of phones,” Schapelle told us. “I can only video chat. I can’t talk [on a] normal phone.”
So how did this phobia start? Schapelle told us she developed the fear after being caught with a mobile phone during her time in prison, which resulted in her being placed in solitary confinement.
“I had to spend three weeks in isolation because I was caught with my phone,” Schapelle explained.
“You weren’t allowed to have a phone in jail?” Kyle asked.
“There were different times and different governors with different rules,” she continued. “Just, you’re not allowed to be vulgar. You know, if a guard walks through you put the phone down, you be respectful.
“But sometimes there’s a governor and you are not allowed a phone at all,” Schapelle emphasized. “So, you know it’s hard to have something and have it taken away from you.
“It didn’t affect me at the time, as soon as I was out of isolation I bought a new one.”
Schapelle’s sister Mercedes actually explained that they bought Schapelle a watch phone so that she could conceal it better and avoid getting caught again.
But at some point since that experience, Schapelle began to suffer from severe anxiety whenever she was faced with speaking to someone on the phone.
In fact, she gave us an example of the phobia taking over her which involved a phone call with Kyle and Jackie O two years ago when Schapelle first arrived back in Australia.
The day of her arrival, we spoke with Mercedes on the phone as they headed back from the airport. We asked her for some sort of proof of life to show that Schapelle was there and what we got back was a tiny hello from what we thought was Schapelle.
But it turns out that this wasn’t actually Schapelle who said this. It was her sister Mercedes, because Schapelle was far too frightened to say anything.
“You were quivering in the corner while I was on the phone,” Mercedes told us.
“I was like a rat dog,” added Schapelle. “I got really nervous and cannot speak on a normal telephone. So Merc actually whispered for me to say hello but it came out on the microphone.”
“So that wasn’t even you?” asked Kyle.
“No,” Schapelle said. “We weren’t trying to trick you.”
No, it turns out that poor Schapelle was so scarred by her experience in jail that she just couldn’t bring herself to even say hello to us!
Thankfully, we got the chance to chat properly with Schapelle today in person as we heard her story.