Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Name is Heather, and I am a Nomophobic.

I am not sure "nomophobic" is a word, but "nomophobia" is a new word.  Actually, there is even a website devoted to nomophobia:  The website states:

Does just the thought of no signal on your mobile phone make you break out in a cold sweat? Do you start to feel anxious when your mobile battery life gets low? If so you are showing signs of a growing worldwide stress syndrome – Nomophobia. Although a total cure is not yet available can help you protect yourself from having no mobile phone contact and also help you manage your symptoms. It’s also a safe place for you to help others by sharing your own experiences and providing information on how you’ve overcome Nomophobia in the past.

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My nomophobia began when I got my first smartphone, which happened to be for work.  Every time I heard a ding, I instantly grabbed the phone, checked the email or text, etc., responded accordingly, and then moved on with my life.  I am one who likes to be extremely productive, responds with a sense of urgency, etc.  Unfortunately, the emails were always coming in.  It was virtually impossible to maintain an empty inbox with my last job.  Nonetheless, I was always doing the best I could to keep the inbox mail at a minimum.  This meant the smartphone had to remain nearby.  

My nomophobia later progressed as technology did.  I joined several social networks and had constant quick access to the internet at the palm of my hand.  I no longer needed the gps navigation on my vehicle as I always had the use of google maps navigation via my smart phone.  I had an app for everything:  pregnancy tracking, babycare, banking, Bible, flashlight, social network, car maintenance, best gas prices in the area, music streaming and even an app to track my runs (pace, path, duration, etc.).  Now, anytime I begin a thought with, "What was the name of that Actor that.." or "What year did...", "How much does.." or "What is the best way to...", I know is there to provide me an instant answer.  I learn so much every day via my smart phone.  For someone who has a physical and emotional need to be productive and constantly learn something new, this smart phone is a NECESSITY!

How in the WORLD did I survive without it?  I was thinking about this earlier today as I was driving.   Before this awesome technology, if Drew and I were out and about in an area of town we were unfamiliar with and wanted to eat at a restaurant, what would we do?   We would probably either rely on randomly driving by a restaurant and judging it from the outside or going into a convenience store, hoping the cashier was a foodie and asking for suggestions.  Now, we simply pull up our google maps app, search nearby restaurants, see reviews and even review the menu and prices prior to navigating there.  Saves time and gets us a better chance of having an enjoyable experience.

I have left the house in the past and within a few minutes swiftly turned around after feeling I was missing something--my smartphone.  In that few minutes of not having it and trying to decide whether to turn around to get it, many "what if's" rapid-fired in my head.  What if I got into a vehicle accident?  How would I contact Drew, call the police, etc.?  What if our car broke down?  How would I call for help?   What if I needed to search for the nearest Target?  Yes, I now look at my mobile phone as a necessity.  How else would I be efficient, stay connected with friends and family near and far, keep my life organized, get my instant answers to my constant questions, find that quick recipe for dinner while at the grocery store, see a photo of my nephew who lost his first tooth (just minutes after it happened), or capture a video of something new the kids are doing and then instantly send it to Drew so he doesn't miss out?   I know somehow we got by without them in the past, but it is just so hard to think about going back to my life pre-mobile/smart phone.  And that is name is Heather and I am a nomophobic.

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