NOMOPHOBIA – 66% of us have it


I feel lost.  Adrift at sea.  Alone on a deserted island. Frightened.  Anxious.  Worried.

I am not connected to my cell phone.

I cannot get news alerts, weather alerts, and random sales notices.  I do not have the ability to set my DVR, pay a bill, transfer money, or spontaneously purchase something I don’t need.  I cannot Facebook, or tweet or Instagram ANY of these concerns because I am without TECHNOLOGY.   I am CUT OFF.  Nomophobia… I have it. (Fear of being without your cell.)

For now this is just a horrible and unthinkable day—nightmare, BUT…

I have been going to and from my job for more than a quarter century. When I started, you were just UNAVAILABLE. You were unreachable.  I would get home from work and, if I was lucky, find messages on my tiny tape answering machine.  Ahhhh how that # 2 flashing would fill me with delight. TWO people are looking for me… must be important, they left a MESSAGE!   How I long for those days.

I have become someone I really don’t want to be.  I want to just turn it off. Leave it home.  But I have been brainwashed.  I hyperventilate at the idea of not being able to reach someone or have the profoundly joyous ability to send someone off to voicemail.  I am one of THOSE annoying people who wants to share every bit of paltry minutia that pops into my head…. WHEN it pops into my head!  If I wait, and the idea of it is horrific, I could forget to post the MOST adorable cat video…. EVER.

But I can’t stop. I am a tech addict.  I know people who want nothing to do with social media, who choose not to have their cell with them at ALL times, who don’t need to text or use their cell phone to book a spontaneous trip, who are fine not setting their DVR’s—and OH MY GOD, I hope they have one—or Instagramming the most amazing Street Cart Waffle in HISTORY. I just don’t really know how they do it. For me, this is an unimaginable scenario with unspeakable consequences.

You just know the day I try to prove I can do without my beloved technology will be the day I have won something and they try to reach me but CAN’T, or the day that “oh, Red… had an extra ticket, first row… tried to reach you” kind of day.  The ‘what if’s’ are staggering and again… I am hyperventilating.

Is it possible to go BACK after you have enjoyed the benefits this kind of technology has to offer? Can I just NOT be available for a day or a weekend?  Can I put on pumps and a dress and pearls and bake pies?  NO … NO is the answer.  I can NOT do it.  I really would like to say I am above this. But I am not. I am incurable.  I have the techno bug, and a thirst for knowing everything and knowing it now. Without the ability to GOOGLE at the drop of a hat, what on earth would I have done when trying to remember the name of an arcade game from 1996 that was SO awesome, I decided, I not only wanted to remember the name, I wanted to find one for sale, and maybe even buy one in the next 5 minutes? WHAT would I do without GOOGLE!  No worries, evidently, the PROP CYCLE by NAMCO of 1996 is something of arcade legend and is really hard to find… at a price that would make me MORE nuts than I already am. (Figures).

But still, the very moment I thought of it, I was able to track down the name, find out its history and subsequently find one for sale in under a few minutes.  The circle of my neurosis complete, I was able to put to sleep my wondering what it was called, and whether I could have one. Mission accomplished.  Heavy sigh of relief.

Now, same scenario, pre this kind of awesome technology, I would be dead in the water.  It’s not as if I could go to a Chuck E. Cheese now and say…  “Hey, by the way, remember in 1996 when you had that game where you rode a bicycle and popped hot air balloons in the sky on a video screen?”  First of all let us sincerely hope the same people aren’t working there. But the point is I like instant gratification, and I will not apologize for that.

Is it really wrong to need to know the news, or the weather, or Hollywood gossip, buy a pair of boots or find a recipe…. NOW?  When I think of how completely integrated my life is WITH technology today, it is actually a little scary.  The dependence, for me, is all consuming.  For the record, had I been trapped on Gilligan’s Island, it would have been the Professor I would have cozied up to.  He did, after all, build a radio from a coconut. 🙂

I am going to try to go—oh dear—without my technology for maybe a day, soon.  I don’t hold out much hope for success, at least not without vicious side effects.  But I don’t believe that my proving that I CAN’T be without technology in any way should portray me as weak or pitiful.  Some people need oxygen…. I need PULSE. (It’s an app, look it up.)  Well, back to some shopping, or baby Panda watching, or California Sea Lion watching.  Still have 30 minutes on the train.  I am—perhaps—a little weak.  But I can live with that—on 4G LTE.   🙂

xoxo  DDJ

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