I wonder if my relationship with Iphona is becoming obsessive. Yes, she has a name. Is that weird? You haven’t named your mobile device? That seems cold considering how close you two are.
The other day I got up from the couch to get a glass of water from the kitchen – not 15 feet away – and instinctually brought my phone with me. Is that normal? I wasn’t waiting on some big call; not expecting Dave Grohl to sing me happy birthday. Not anticipating a “loved your book” email from Oprah. Not waiting for a cryptic text from the ghost of Steve Jobs. Still, I felt some primal need to hold my phone close. My hand just feels so empty without her.
At a recent parade I caught a friend texting — at a parade. We were sitting curbside with fire trucks honking and cheerleaders throwing candy at us, but she was more interested in her phone. I will not use her name because I adore her. Like me, she is phonotized, which is what I call the condition bewitching us all. Next time you’re out and about look around and notice how many people are attending to their phone babies. Assume the position: slouched over, neck bent forward, fingers frantic.
I’m not suggesting this is some terrible societal issue, but I am curious. Is this the new normal? Answer the questions below honestly. I’m in no position to judge. * I use the word phone. Insert “mobile device” if you prefer.
#1 – You leave your home and will be gone all day. You realize you’ve forgotten your phone. How far away would you have to be before you would just leave it and go commando?
A. One mile is too far. I’d keep going without it because my phone isn’t a big deal.
B. Three miles. Leaving it would feel weird, but I’d work through it.
C. Are you high? That would never happen. My precious is always with me.
D. I’m a goner. My eyes are rolling back into my head. Like in the movie Airplane — the scene where the guitar-playing stewardess pulls the plug on that sick little girl.
#2 – Fill in the blank. I would give up __________ before I would give up my phone.
C. Sex with the celebrity of my choice doused in chocolate.
#3 – How much time typically passes between the time you wake up and the time you check your phone?
A. Twenty minutes – a cup of coffee and a shower come first.
B. Five minutes – a cup of coffee comes first.
C. It’s the very first thing I do – coffee be damned.
D. I keep it on my bedside table at night. We are always in sync. I sleep, she charges.
4 – How much did you care when the FAA relaxed rules on in-flight device use.
A. They changed that?
C. Yay, now I can fly again.
D. It’s the best thing the government has ever done for me.
#5 – Have you ever used your phone while in a bathroom stall?
A. No, nasty. What the hell is wrong with you?
B. I’ll admit it. Yes, but only a few times.
C. Doesn’t everyone?
D. I have actually dropped my phone into the toilet.
* Tossing a toilet-water phone in a bag of rice is not going to help you. Also, the guys at the Genius Bar will not believe you if you tell them it fell into a swimming pool.
BONUS QUESTION: Out of curiosity, how many actual phone numbers do you have memorized?
A. Many because I’m a nerd.
C. Only my mom.
D. I don’t even know my own phone number.
Okay. No need to score this really. This post isn’t meant to inspire you to action. No need to minimize your usage: unless you want to. I was curious though. Is it just me? Comment if you have other juicy examples of how we are becoming phonotized or share @InaZajac. You can also pass this quiz onto those you know who may relate.