Some say it’s now one of the biggest fears in the world, the absence of the cell phone; nomophobia. People everywhere are so use to having that mobile device at their fingertips 24/7 that if in that fleeting moment they left it behind, or the battery goes dead … anxiety sets in. Feelings of being left out… and, or, certain fears begin to take over once the person realizes they don’t have their cell device. It is all too real. Earlier today, I was running an errand headed to Walgreens. But once I got in to my car, I thought to myself “Maybe I’ll just run to Bed Bath and Beyond” however when I looked over to my center counsel in my car, I remembered I left my cell phone plugged in at home; I became instantly startled. My thought was “If something happened to me (such as an accident), I won’t have my phone.” So, I chose not to go because of the distance and I didn’t have my phone. I couldn’t believe my own thoughts… which really got me thinking about this subject.

Do I have Nomophobia? Maybe to a point, but there is still hope for me yet; I’ve taken the online test and I’m on the verge… so I’ll be more conscious of my decisions as to when I should leave my phone behind. I don’t want to become one of those people who actually freak out if they leave it behind for the day. I guess that is one of the best things I love about taking vacations on a cruise ship, there is no signal in the middle of nowhere… it is my turn to completely shut out the news, media, gossip … you name it, good or bad, it is time to decompress and remember how life really is, or shall I say… still can be. Even my 82 year old father gets a little frazzled if he forgets his cell phone in the morning, but yet he still holds a land line. I don’t believe he should have the land line because he never uses it, but to each their own. Maybe it gives him a piece of mind.

I read recently that 58% of the cell phone users have smart phones; that’s quite a bit that engage in other activities using devices for more than just calls. This was in accordance with Pew Research Center in 2014. Psychologists are saying it’s becoming more and more severe among young people, but the symptoms are very real. They include feelings of desperation (panic), when being separated from their devices, making work or studying almost impossible. I could go on about statics, but I truly believe that you all get the picture here. It’s an ongoing problem in our society, not to mention using these devices while driving, walking and even during those precious dinner times with family… people are losing control over their own behaviors; this includes sleep. We all know someone with sleep deprivation, and I know what I’m talking about … as I have suffered for years with sleep problems, which makes it hard to function normally during day hours. Those that have ‘Nomophobia’ can have many contributing factors that affect their general health. In fact, in Irving, California, they now offer group therapy for people with nomophobia, at a rehabilitation center called ‘Morningside Recovery.’ I imagine there are more popping up all over the country, as we continue to make electronics a part of our lives every day. We haven’t a choice in the matter when it comes to working with computers and requirements for employment in these fields (of electronics that is), but we can choose to be happier without some of these devices… hence, my cruise ship vacations. So, I think I am going to start turning my cell phone off once in a while, just to get use to time away… so-to-speak. I hope you all will join me in this effort to put down the cell or smartphone once in a while… and look up to the sky, smile… and take a deep breath! Enjoy your scenery and be at peace.

Make your week count.