Phonanxiety (fəʊnæŋˈzaɪəti)

Phonanxiety (fəʊnæŋˈzaɪəti)

(c) Shane Rounce via Unsplash

My phone is the bane of my life. I am quite obviously addicted to it's presence. If it is not near me, I mindlessly feel for it, like a child with its comfort blanket. I swear it has made my eyes worse. I can't seem to live through an exciting or notable moment without reaching to document it in some way. 

Worst of all after a particularly long day where I was working "mobile", I settled down to read my book in the evening, only to notice myself finger scrolling on the paper page. The ingrained habit of motion terrified me. My brain was trained to scroll. Even at the height of my smoking habit, I had never had a phantom cigarette. 

Refresh is another button I can find myself clicking and clicking and clicking if I get stuck on an Instagram loop. Once I paused a programme on the television to watch one instastory and found myself dazedly 1.5 hours later blinking hazily at the television having completely forgotten what I was watching.

Like the alcoholic stuck in the constant loop of need more, want more, have more. I had not lifted my face from my phone until I felt slighly sick and had a headache.

Woefully it pains me to write this. It seems an embarrassment to admit. Especially as this very device is something that can ignite the worst anxiety in me and causes flickering OCD that I've mainly managed to keep under control since my mid-twenties.

It's just being so contactable. It's the gap between the personalities we present online and our real selves. 

I know that I feel better, live better, notice more, when I put my phone away. I know that it directly counteracts any mindful habits I aim for. However, its rewards and releases are so easily accessed, it's a lazy girls workout.

I do not worry, we do not worry because we see it all around u,s all the time. People walk down the streets their necks bowed over, fingers mindlessly tapping, not watching the road. 

At drinks and dinners and mother's meetings in the park, scroll, scroll, tap, tap. We do not see this as dangerous because everybody does it... but when has that meany anything at all.

I just stopped writing for five minutes to look at my phone. So yes, it hampers my creative mind too.

And last month when I was away at a friends wedding in France for the weekend where there was no signal AND no WiFi, I spent a large amount of time with severe anxiety that something might happen and I would never know.

Sometimes I yearn for the days before mobiles and the internet existed. How free it must have been... Yet in reality, how small too. And God knows what job I would do.

In reality what we are doing with our phones is connecting with people and reading stories.... things humans have been doing since the beginning of time. However, perhaps we should be careful that we aren't connecting more with a metal and glass device with a faceless web that doesn't love you, rather than real, actual humans who do.

What's the Worst That Could Happen? Hiding Heidi at Etcetera Theatre, NW1

What's the Worst That Could Happen? Hiding Heidi at Etcetera Theatre, NW1

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