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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Signs Of Early Onset Nomophobia?

Nomophobia is the proposed name for the fear of being out of cell phone contact. Although experts disagree about how accurate it is coupling this distinctly 21st century anxiety with well established phobias, I have little doubt some people have serious issues vis a vis their cell phones.

Dinner party, circa late 2016 - four couples. Six of us are seated in a cozy room, music is playing, the hostesses serve appetizers and return to the adjoining kitchen to continue preparing the dinner. My wife and I try starting a conversation. What are the remaining four people, i.e. the other two couples, all doing? Staring at or playing with their cell phones. I wish I were making this up but I'm not.

In her stunning 2015 book "Reclaiming Conversation", author Sherry Turkle cites research stating the average American checks their cell phone every six and one half minutes. Four people glued to their tiny screens at a dinner party may or may not be a sign of early onset nomophobia. No matter, it's still sad.    

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