Don’t laugh, you probably are too! Nomophobia is a condition coined by some mental health gurus as the fear of going without a phone. I hadn’t realized I had this condition until today when my iPhone decided it had had enough! Siri was unavailable!
As I’m sure most of you know by now, I come from the wireless world. I’ve never had to go without a phone for more than 5 minutes, I’d simply make a call and “Voila” a new handset appeared. Today was very different. When I realized my phone wasn’t going to turn back on, I have to be honest, panic overcame me! What was I going to do? How were people going to reach me? How would I know what time it was (yes, I wear a watch but it is strictly a piece of jewelry not worn for function)! In a matter of minutes these were only a few of the many questions that raced through my mind. For the next minute I was paralyzed. I had to call my old colleagues at Verizon and find out what to do and how quickly could they help me, but how would I find their number? It was in my phone!
The lack of my trusted phone made me interested in finding out just how much we rely on these handy little devices. So, I started researching just how attached we are, and to determine if I was the only one that was obsessed. Well turns out I’m not. There are several of us that suffer from nomophobia. Symptoms include frequently checking your phone, using your phone in inappropriate places, constantly checking battery life and finally, panic at the thought of not having your phone for even a short amount of time.
Luckily nomophobia can be cured, by simply putting down your handset. There are mixed thoughts on doing this for small amounts of time per day or just going cold turkey for an entire day. After thinking about this, I think the right course of action for me is small increments during the day. I guess I could resist checking email when I wake up at 2:00 am due to the dog jumping off the bed, that’s a start.
Ultimately Verizon fixed my phone. At that very moment when I saw the Apple icon appear on my screen, I felt a huge sense of relief. It was amazing, my nervousness went away as quickly as it came earlier this morning.
Smartphones have changed our lives in so many ways and we don’t realize just how much until we have to go a day or even a few hours without one. Is my nomophobia a good thing? I’m not sure. But what I do know I love having so many tools right at my fingertips anywhere, anytime.
So are you nomophobic?