Top of the list is my mobile phone. I panic when we’re separated. At night, I stroke it and fall asleep bathed in its warm neon glow. It’s the first face that greets me in the morning, with a cheery puuuurrrrrrrrt puuuurrrrrrrrrrt and throughout the day, it flashes me reassurance – I’m loved, I’m important, I have a life.
How did I cope without it?
And I’m not alone. Reports suggest the emergence of a modern illness called ‘nomophobia’: a paralysing fear of being without a mobile phone. We attended an event recently where we were asked to switch them off. Can you imagine? The room was filled with twitching digits and the smell of trapped animals.
According to a 2008 survey of British adults, 66% of us are afflicted by this condition. On average we check our mobiles 34 times a day. (I’m not sure I even breathe that much). Why is this?
Writing in the Times, Daisy Goodwin argues that mobile phones are ‘electric opiates’ – ways of blocking out reality. She comments;
‘It’s easier to send a text than to make a difficult phone call, to look at adorable pictures of your kids than to enforce unpopular boundaries on stroppy teenagers, to hang out on Facebook than it is actually to be with your friends in unedited real time’.
Maybe it’s time to step away from the Blackberry. Just for a bit..
Why do we need our mobiles? – or is it just me?