Cellphone Dependency

Last night my iPhone wouldn’t turn on… it didn’t show the “dead battery” screen or anything (+ it had been charging earlier), it was simply lifeless.  I nearly panicked – how would I get in touch with my father or confirm my meeting?  How would I know when to meet for lunch?  What would happen to all of my pictures?  Did I add that new contact before or after my last sync – how can I get that number again?  Will I have to reactivate my old Blackberry?  What will I do without Siri?  How much is this going to cost?  I went to bed miserable, thinking of how I now had to make it to the Sprint store  before anything else in the morning – great.

Upon waking, one of my first priorities was to check my phone, to see if leaving it in uncooked rice over night might have soaked up any water that could have caused this problem.  After once again pressing every combination of buttons and holding them down for 5, 10, and even 30 seconds I was very unhappy to see the phone remain unresponsive.  Then I tried one more time…

And it worked!  A joyous smile spread across my face.  Phhhew!  I don’t know what was wrong, and I don’t care as long as it doesn’t happen again.  I’m back in business.

This whole experience brought me to an important realization: We are so dependent on our cellphones in this society.  People are constantly using them, for everything.  Obviously a phone is used to contact people (through calls, texts, e-mails), but it also does so much more – iCal, notes, alarms, and reminders keep us on track all day, maps help us get to where we need to go, we answer questions, check bank balances, play games, and document important events with pictures and video… Here is an exhaustive list of all of Siri’s capabilities.

I can scarcely imagine going about my day without my iPhone.  I had a similar experience a few months back when I almost left my phone in Houston; I had real anxiety over the thought of being without it and the time and trouble it would take to have it returned.  10 years ago I didn’t even own a cellphone – let alone one with so many miraculous features, how did this happen?

I decided to do a little reading about society’s newest addiction.  The term nomophobia (nomobile-phone-phobia) was coined to describe the fear of being without a phone.  The gist of the articles outlines the increase of nomophobic people: “a recent online survey of 1,000 people in the UK found that almost two thirds (66%) of respondents were afflicted, a rise of 11% when compared to a similar study four years ago,” (CNNTech, 2012). If you’re interested, here’s some resources:

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/feb/17/business/la-fi-tn-nomophobia-on-the-rise-20120216

http://articles.cnn.com/2012-03-06/tech/tech_mobile_nomophobia-mobile-addiction_1_mobile-phone-cell-students?_s=PM:TECH

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/medical/health/medical/mentalhealth/story/2011/07/Smartphone-dependency-a-growing-obsession-to-gadgets/49661286/1

All of this technology & our love of it begs the question: what could possibly be next?

Photo credit: http://mashable.com/follow/people/bgbs/

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