Social Media Social Good: Smart Phone Anxiety

Category: Social Media Social Good Series, Weekly Columns

A smart way to stay connected to my smart phone

Do you have Social Media Anxiety? Or Smart Phone Anxiety? A friend told me a story the other day that I related to and I wonder how many others will as well? This friend is a ski buddy. He told me that he arrived at The Canyons Ski Resort where we ski (in Utah), parked, got on the gondola, and was excited and ready to go skiing. Checking for his smart-phone, he discovered it wasn’t there. He patted every conceivable pocket and then began to panic. Hello Social Media Anxiety! Hello Smart Phone Anxiety, to be more specific! Where is Oprah when we need her?

Yes, panic.

Is it true that my smart phone is smarter than me?

This was his cell-phone! Not his car keys, not his wallet, not truly anything important. As the gondola was continuing up the mountain, he could feel his heart rate increase, his blood pressure rise, and he tried talking to himself saying, “This is ridiculous.” He knew the phone had to be either in his car, down at the parking lot, or at worst, back at his condo nearby. He was suffering from Social Media Anxiety, or Smart Phone Anxiety in this circumstance. Hmmm, does the Psychiatric Journal have this among its list of disorders?

When the gondola reached the top, instead of exiting, he stayed aboard – circling back around the way he’d just come – to go back to his car and hopefully find the missing cell-phone. During this time, he was playing and re-playing every imaginable scenario of where the phone could be and, worse, what he’d have to do if he’d actually lost it.

Social Media platforms can be overwhelming

The short ride back down was interminable to him. Upon exiting he raced to his car and first checked outside in case he’d dropped it. Nope. A thorough search inside and no phone. Bummer. Now, he’d have to drive back to his condo. Of course, he felt this could not wait until the afternoon. After all, how could he possibly survive a few hours without his beloved phone?

He resisted the urge to speed back to the condo and did his best to both control his racing heart-beat and keep his foot from pressing full bore on the accelerator. Upon arriving back at his condo, he waited the interminable time for the garage door to open and then raced inside. Expecting to see the phone on the counter upon entering, he was stunned that it wasn’t there. He looked everywhere it could possibly be – in his mind. No phone.

Now, he took a deep breath. This is crazy. Where is the darn phone? What am I going to do, he thought?

Anxiety over Comments on a Blog – Cartoon

He got a flash that perhaps he’d taken it with him into the bathroom upstairs. Racing upstairs, he enters the bathroom and sees the precious phone sitting on the counter.

Now, he looks around – as if he were on Candid Camera – and feels like a complete fool. It’s a phone. A PHONE.

I’m sure you realized – early on – that said friend was me. I will also admit that I downplayed the degree of panic I felt during this “ordeal.”

Infographic cartoon about how to use a smart phone

Who else can relate to this? Who else depends – or thinks he or she depends – on their phone as if it were a lifeline?

If I’m acting this way, how are my kids acting given their greater dependence on their phones for their social lives? Or, am I just an over-the-top adult exception?

I don’t know. All I know is that I felt and feel embarrassed and ridiculous that I got so worked up over a little piece of technology.

Technology mistakes lead to job loss cartoon

Now, I’m wondering about some sort of tether to the phone so I can’t possibly misplace it again?

What do you think about all of this?

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