Nomophobia: the struggle is totally real

Phaze Roeder

Last weekend, I was at an event with some of the girls in my sorority, playing a racing game on my phone, sending a few texts, scrolling through endless Facebook drivel, casually glancing up to see that everyone else was doing more or less the same thing, when my phone suddenly died.

34% and it died.

Frustration with the entire Samsung cooperation for ever creating the S3 aside, after about 47 seconds of having nothing to do with my thumbs or my eyes or my attention, I realized a very irrational and apparently common truth: I am a victim of nomophobia.

Now, I obviously had to Google that when I charged my phone, but nomophobia is a fairly new and not-quite-politically-correct term for an irrational fear of being without a mobile phone.  This is something that, according to a survey by SecurEnvoy, 77% of young people under the age of 25 struggle with.

I can’t argue that cell phones are going to cause us to lose our humanity or that we are enslaved by technology because ultimately, access to the internet and instantaneous communication with anyone anywhere in the world at any given moment is unquestionably the greatest thing since the discovery of the Emperor Penguin. However, I can say this: it is just sad.

Perhaps if I had the newest iPhone or the coolest Galaxy Note 12 Edge I would say otherwise, but when I look around a room of 35 women and realize each of us is finding comfort in a screen rather than in one another or that spectators at a MOSO football game would rather take a selfie than watch the first play, I am at a loss.

I recognize this same habit in myself, hence the nomophobia comment previously, but to take a step back from that culture (although unwillingly) and see it for what it has become, is truly remarkable.

There is humor in this pandemic; people running into poles because they can’t take their eyes off a screen or toddlers with the latest Snapchat filter, but something has to change. We should live in the moment rather than relive it in a photo. Push back against this dystopian, technology-obsessed culture and be the socially awkward people we were created to be.