A profound silence fills the office. My hands twitch and I whinge, feeling empty, feeling lost. Alone, without any idea of time, without the meaning of space, without contact, I feel as though the whole world has disappeared and I am in an empty, white space of nothingness.
Are you thinking that I must be suffering from anxiety? Depression? Suicide?
Wrong! I have forgotten my mobile at home.
It is such a strange, unwelcome feeling. Not having the whole world there, at the tip of my fingertips. Not being able to chat with my friends about tonight, confirm an appointment, check out an event, browse the weather, message my hairdresser.
How can I bear it for an entire day, until I get back home from work and re-unite with my little metallic gem of communication? Will I find tons of messages and missed calls waiting for me? Will some of them spell a lost opportunity, or a juicy bit of information left uncovered until it’s too late?
And what about the rest of the world? What is happening on Facebook today? What about yesterday’s chat where I forgot to say goodbye to a friend because it was one o’clock in the morning? Will he be angry at me? I should message now and make amends, but I can’t because I HAVE FORGOTTEN MY MOBILE AT HOME.
And then it hits me! How did people survive without phones a hundred years ago? Even more recently, how did they survive without internet on their mobiles ten years ago?
What are we coming to, that we are so used to our mobile gadgets, so obsessed with being able to communicate with anyone at any time and being able to browse any topic in a second, that we become so totally dependent on the small damn things? If there is alcohol addiction, heroin addiction and even porn addiction (yes this is actually clinical – check it out), is our generation suffering from mobile telephone addiction?
Admit it, you actually check your mobile every five to ten minutes don’t you? Even when you are at home. You look at it to confirm the time, to see if your daughter has messaged you back, to pamper your digital pet, to look at your favourite photo which you’ve made into a wallpaper.
And what about when you are bored? How many free games and applications have you downloaded on your mobile phone? And how many have you actually paid for? What about all those times when you are standing around in a queue at the doctor’s clinic or at the supermarket, or simply feeling uncomfortable being in the lift with a stranger? Admit it, you look at your mobile then too, don’t you? It alleviates the tension and relieves the stress – much like a cigarette does.
Mobile phone addiction is not a clinical term, nor is it a recognised form of addiction – yet. However, let us ask ourselves this; are people in general so lonely, that they need their mobile phone so much every minute of every day? If you are at home with your loved ones, and don’t actually have someone depending on you for help whose call you are particularly waiting for, why are you still keeping your mobile phone near you?
Why has the mobile phone become such a necessity even when you don’t actually need it? Is it fear of an unknown danger, or some form of cosmic loneliness that makes everyone want to look into the cyber unknown and reach out a metaphorical hand, in the hope that someone, anyone, will grasp it?
What does your relationship with your mobile phone say about you?