HUMOR – According to a recent study, 66 percent of people suffer from nomophobia, making it the most trendy new phobia by a landslide, followed closely by politicophobia, or fear of politicians. What is nomophobia? It is the fear of being without mobile phone contact.
Today I have good news for people who suffer from nomophobia. As it turns out, your phobia is complete bologna. Very few people have a legitimate fear of being without their phone. In reality, most people have mobile phone addiction and also love having a trendy phobia to brag about.
Mobile phone addiction is understandable, especially with smart phones. With one palm-sized device I can read books, get driving directions to the nearest Café Rio, track how many calories I have eaten, call my friends, listen to Pandora and then get mad when they include Eminem, Tim McGraw, and Billie Holliday on the same station. I can check my bank account balances, take pictures of my kids, and stalk people on Facebook. Smart phones are second only to “Seinfeld” in glorifying the minutiae of every day life.
The problem with mobile phone addiction, besides that it leads to distracted parenting, distracted driving, social isolation, the breakdown of relationships, and the eventual destruction of society as we know it, is that it can make you look like an idiot. Ask anyone who has ever walked into a produce display while texting their husband from the grocery store.
I am reminded of “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, which I was forced to read in middle school. In the story the main character’s wife spends most of her time ignoring her husband and watching shows on her enormous full-wall television until basically her brain turns to Jell-O. I don’t remember the details since I coasted through most of ninth grade, but I came away with this theme: Too much screen time will destroy your brain, your marriage, and eventually you will be hunted down by a government robot attack dog. Ray Bradbury says so.
Clearly that is a problem.
It may be difficult to determine if you have mobile phone addiction, so I have formulated the following test:
Do you wake up in the middle of the night to check your phone?
Do you have an internet routine that involves visiting the same sites repeatedly in a small amount of time? For example: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, repeat until you pass out on the couch at three in the morning.
Do you sleep with your phone under your pillow “just in case”?
Do you have a nickname for your phone and secretly dream of taking it away on a romantic whirlwind Caribbean vacation, just the two of you?
Do you prefer using your phone alone in a dark room to interacting with human beings in the flesh?
Does the word flesh sound weird to any one else when you say it over and over?
Do you have more interaction with your family online than you do in person?
Did you recently wait in a line of 300 people to purchase the iPhone 5, even though Elise Haynes predicted that the new map application would be glitchy?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have a problem. I know I do.
Ray Bradbury also said this: “We have too many cellphones. We’ve got too many internets. We have got to get rid of those machines. We have too many machines now.” I am not suggesting that we rid ourselves of machines entirely – I, for one, would be incapable of cooking dinner without Google. But I am suggesting that we control the machines instead of letting the machines control us, otherwise we might find ourselves staring at the business end of a government robot attack dog.
Elise Haynes chronicles family life in her blog Haynes Family Yard Sale. Any opinions stated in this column are her own and not necessarily those of St. George News.
Email: [email protected]
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.