It has finally happened. I was at dinner with friends and within five minutes of being seated, we were all looking down at our smartphones—Googling, Facebooking, and God only knows what else.
Nomophobia (fear of being without your mobile phone—no mobile—nomo—get it?) is the new frontier of addiction. It’s so sad. Time lost with loved ones because our attention has wandered to the technology in our hand.
I’ve heard it said that the generation raised with smartphones is struggling with the development of their social skills. To be honest, it hasn’t done much for people my age either. We now all text. It’s so much easier than having a real conversation. And Facebook gives us the false sense that we’re in touch, even though you can’t actually touch anyone. Facebook friends create the illusion that we’re loved or important or part of something bigger than ourselves. In reality—we’re really sitting alone—observing other people’s lives. I guess that’s better than nothing.
To be a successful writer, we’re told to expand our reach. People need to know who we are in order to trust that they might enjoy our work. I doubt Hemingway or Fitzgerald had an ongoing relationship with their public—but then, I’m no Hemingway or Fitzgerald. Still, can you imagine those two literary giants texting? Now, Dorothy Parker—she’d have excelled at tweeting in 140 characters. Still, being witty 24/7 is a challenge for any modern author. Best to say nothing at all. At least then you can retain some semblance of quiet intelligence.
So the next time you go to dinner, avoid taking out your smartphone. Unless of course, you need to look something up. Or, want to show the most recent photos of the family. Or, must answer that annoying ring tone. And as you check your smartphone, know that your friends will be rolling their eyes as they post about your nomophobia on their Facebook page.
Want to learn more about how your smartphone is changing you? click here: http://bit.ly/2wTLh2q
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