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NoMoPhobia Sweeping the Land

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NoMoPhobia Sweeping the Land

The 21st century has produced a new illness, “no mobile phobia” (Nomophobia) the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. Researchers in the UK report that thirteen million Brits suffer from this stressful condition brought on by the fear that their phone will lose its charge, be misplaced or simply lose tower contact making them unreachable.

One man was so fearful he had his ear pierced big enough to hold his cell phone (See today’s photo!)

You would think with recent research theorizing that cell phones contribute to a higher likelihood of brain cancer that we would take a pause and rethink our newest addiction. It seems we’d rather risk tumors the size of watermelons than lose contact with all those people who urgently need to yammer on about their trivial pursuits.

Our fear is not brain tumors. Our fear is bad reception.

Technology has its good points–like connectivity with those we love scattered around the globe.

But technology also has its downside; like isolation.

A child sits listening to an iPod on the way to soccer practice while mom or dad drives and talks on the cell phone. Families sit passively in front of a TV instead of talking with each other.

In our family I’m viewed as the cell phone Nazi because I believe we should not make or take extended cell phone calls while in each other’s presence. I’m taking a stand for human interaction with people who are actually present instead of snubbing present company in favor for the cell phone caller.

Way back in the 1960s, social scientist Marshall McLuhan warned, “All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered.”

I would add technology works us over spiritually.

When Jesus needed to sort things out he withdrew to a quiet place and prayed.

In earlier societies humans enjoyed down time while they walked or rode their saddled beasts. Where are today’s quiet places? When do sufferers of “nomophobia” make themselves inaccessible?

Without alone time when do we think, meditate, problem solve or pray?

In a day when people say they are too busy to pray I’ve suggested praying in the car instead of listening to music or talking on the phone.

So–this is really about managing technology instead of letting it manage us–if in nomophobia you’ve got an early warning symptom that it is time to reevaluate your relationship with your cell phone!

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in April 3, 2008 by | No Comments »

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