Shock horror – no phone signal
Last updated at 08:02, Thursday, 08 March 2012
OF all the idiotic conditions associated with modern life, one stands head and shoulders above all others.
Nomophobia – the fear of being separated from one’s mobile phone – is, we learn this week, a growing phenomenon in the UK, with a ludicrous 66 per cent of all mobile phone users reportedly suffering from acute anxiety if they haven’t got their phones with them.
Much as I would like to dismiss this story (which comes via a survey from a technology company called SecurEnvoy), I fear it rings all too true.
I know a number of people who display the symptoms of this crazy condition. All would be panic-stricken if they went anywhere without their mobile phone.
The need (or, let’s be honest, desire) to stay in constant touch with everyone takes precedence over any other kind of social interaction, to the point of sheer pig-ignorance.
The prospect of running out of battery charge, or finding themselves somewhere where the signal is poor, is so horrific it renders them virtually unable to function.
Unbelievably, there exists a Mobile Phone Anxiety Advice Centre online, which helps sufferers of nomophobia deal with such calamities as running out of charge (advised remedy: “make sure you charge your battery”). Honestly, you couldn’t make it up.
The website features a hilarious Top Tips section, which includes advice on what to do “in case you venture into an area with poor reception” – a prospect which, in the bizarre world of the nomophobe, appears to be on a par with wandering into a crack den in the Bronx while wearing your best jewellery.
This self-inflicted anxiety in which mobile phone users indulge is one of the worst symptoms of modernity, where supposedly intelligent people have allowed themselves to become slaves to technology.
Challenge any of them and they will invariably be defensive, claiming that they absolutely have to be in touch with their work/children/Twitter account.
Largely they don’t, if they were being honest. But like many addicts (because the anxiety they display when separated from their phones is classic addictive behaviour), they remain in denial.
Over recent years I have become heartily sick of being with people who are so obsessed with their mobile phones that they will cut you off mid-sentence if they receive a call or a text.
Or who will give more attention to updating their Facebook status than to conversing with the real people who are physically in their company.
The separation anxiety these nomophobes experience is apparently no less real for its being utterly pathetic and ridiculous, so I suppose these poor creatures deserve some sympathy for their inadequacies.
Let’s hope there’ll soon be an NHS helpline they can call – assuming they can get a signal.
First published at 13:19, Wednesday, 07 March 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Here here! People who are obsessive about their phones seem to be increasing all the time. I don't know what is wrong with these people that they think they have to be constantly in touch with people. I grew up in the era before mobile phones and we managed to function perfectly weel without having to be inb permanant contact with each other. Some young people today seem to have their phines constantly glued to their ears and they are often completely unaware of whats going on around them.