Do you suffer from nomophobia? Some reports suggest that it may be the most common phobia on the planet with as many as two thirds of us affected by it. Nomophobia, in case you haven’t already guessed, is the fear of being without your mobile phone.
It seems that the symptoms can include an inability to turn off your phone, an obsession with keeping the phone battery topped up and a paranoid fear of missing a call or text.
It’s a phobia which I find it difficult to relate to, although I do concede that this may well be a generational issue. I lived through the first four decades of my life without ever picking up a mobile phone, and, younger readers may be shocked to read this, did so quite happily. Today, the under 35s seem to think that life begins and ends with their phone. Last week I read that Apple have carried out research which shows that iPhone owners unlock their phone a staggering 80 times per day.
If the younger generation really want to spend their time checking the latest hot gossip on some Z list celebrity or tweeting about the fact that they have just ordered a skinny latte, then that’s their choice. However I do object when they inflict that choice on me. I can hardly remember the last time I went to the cinema or theatre and didn’t have the experience spoiled by the mobile phone light of some idiot sitting in front of me. Why would you spend a not inconsiderable amount of money on a theatre or concert ticket and then spend the entire performance on Facebook?
When I go into pubs and restaurants these days I am struck by the fact that so many people ignore the person that they are sitting with and instead spend hours on social media. I fear that the art of conversation is dead and that in the not too distant future we will only communicate via online messages of 140 characters or less.