Mobile Tech Separation Anxiety

I know we talk about how dependent we’ve become on modern technology, especially our cell phones. While some people would say it’s bad, I don’t usually have an issue with it. I like being connected and knowing that if something were to happen I have a connection to the world at my fingertips. I suppose the unhealthy part is the anxiety one gets when they decide to leave their phone at home.

A couple Thursdays ago, Jon and I took a walk downtown. The original plan was to make a big loop, so I figured I wouldn’t need my phone. It was just a walk and any calls or texts I might get could wait. What I didn’t count on was that I’d be able to talk him in to stopping at the Discovery Center for the Go See It lecture (which I highly recommend if you’re in the MHK area…free, every third Thursday of the month).

I was okay at the beginning of the lecture, and then I started to realize that there were certain key things I couldn’t do, like check into Swarm (previously Foursquare), Tweet things, and add notes to Evernote. While the lecture was interesting, it felt weird not to have the ability to keep my hands busy or switch my attention periodically.

I didn’t go crazy from this. My brain didn’t explode, my phone wasn’t full of texts from people who needed me desperately in the short time I was off the grid, and my tech separation anxiety didn’t even compare to some of the social anxiety that still creeps up on me.

Still, I like having my phone with me. It’s like a security blanket. It makes me feel connected and it reminds me that I have a way to communicate if something should happen. I think back to the days when I’d make that drive from college to home with no cell phone. In hindsight, it seems scary…and I did run into a few instances when a cell phone would have been helpful. Luckily, people were nice enough to stop. Now I think people are too scared to stop and help strangers. And I might be too scared to take the help.

On the other side of the coin, as someone who tends to lose focus really easily, not having my phone forced me to pay attention to the lecture rather than letting my mind and attention wander to my phone. I’ve been on a mission to try to focus on one project at a time, because I find that I get more done than when I try to super-multitask. It also lowers my stress level and keeps me from getting overwhelmed.

No, I didn’t die from not having my phone this time, and even though it worked out in the end, I don’t think I’m one of those people who will make it a point of leaving my phone at home all the time. We’re just too attached.

Plus, you never know when you’re going to need to log a note or send an important text.


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