Sweaty palms, shortness of breath, inability to concentrate or focus. Honestly, by 9:00AM I was wondering if I should take a sick day. And by mid-morning I was reconsidering. I really thought these symptoms warranted a trip to Emerg. Clearly, something serious was wrong with me.

And what was this serious ailment with which I’d been afflicted?

I had a serious case of Nophonophobia.

I didn’t coin that term. It is however a fairly modern condition:  the fear of being without one’s cell phone. I had left for work and forgot my cell phone on the kitchen counter.

I went to work.

All day.

Without my phone.

Surely my reaction to not having access to my phone was overly severe but that didn’t stop me from thinking about turning around and heading right back home to retrieve it. And it’s not I’d been severed from all communications; I was actually at arms’ length from an office landline phone and not even eighteen inches away from an office computer with full internet access.

But I wanted my phone. MY PHONE. At my fingertips.

This from a woman whose sole sources of communication in high school – and even university – were teeny pieces of paper furtively passed to friends, stuffed into lockers or tacked to a public bulletin board. When worse came to worse (usually ten minutes after getting off the bus), I resorted to a single push-button corded phone located in the kitchen. Clearly, my dependencies have come a long way.

Now mobile communications had entered my life and I had a hard time living without for even eight hours. Once or twice during the day I got a social invite via email  which I could not respond to because my schedule is on my iCal and I could not check it (my work schedule is synced to my iPhone calendar, but my iPhone calendar does not upload to my Outlook calendar at work). Dear God, what other imperative social invites I would miss because I didn’t get the text that day?!

On several occasions during the day, I invoked the emergency tree communications plan: I emailed my husband and asked him to text my daughter to remind her to text another mother if she did not in fact need a ride home from school that day. My sons are away at university and I actually DM’d them on Twitter to let them know I didn’t have my cell phone. If they need me, they’d have to send me a message via Twitter or FB Messenger, or call me on my office land line, like that was ever going to happen. It just made me feel good doing so.

As afternoon rolled around I was found I was actually grateful for the lack of disruption from the frequent ping and bird calls that emanated so frequently from my cell phone; I was actually fairly productive in fact. As I was leaving the office, I called home from my office phone (brushing off a couple of layers of dust) to let my daughter know I was on my way home. So old school! No wait –  vintage!

In the end I survived; of course I survived. So much so, that I might leave my cell phone at home more often.

Sheesh, who are these people who can’t live without their phones?

(photo credit to Apple.com)

(photo credit to Apple.com)


2 Responses to Nophonophobia

  • This made me nervous just reading it. Seriously.

    Even if my phone is out of range for service, I have Solitaire to help calm my nerves.

    Nice piece. You’re now my phone hero.

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About Astra
Ottawa mom of 3 poking fun at myself, motherhood, and minor hockey! I am steering through life dodging stinky hockey gear and empty wine bottles.
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