I am a working stay at home mom and so it seems that I am always on the go. I am answering text messages from school teachers about forgotten homework, answering emails about work assignments and juggling phone calls with friends and family. I ALWAYS have my iPhone with me! In fact, I snap and text photos of things to get my messages across in a quicker way and I am filtering Facebook messages as clients have managed to find me there too. So, now I admit I have to be on my iPhone 24/7-in lieu of sleeping.
The other day, I got half way to my daughter's school and realized that I didn't have my phone. I panicked! I had no way of texting, emailing or messaging my husband and just the thought of missing a call or text made me very anxious! I had my laptop with me-and you won't believe what I did…or maybe you will because you have done it before too?
I pulled into a Starbucks, loaded up WiFi and emailed my hubby just to say, "I left my phone at home. You won't be able to reach me for 2 hours. Don't panic if you can't get a hold of me."
I call this "iPhone Separation Anxiety Disorder." Is it a real, live, viable condition? According to a recent study-IT IS!! The study found that separation anxiety can actually make you dumber-can you believe that? Here's what the study found.
The study suggests that people perform better during important tasks when they have their iPhones with them.
According to a statement made last Thursday by the University of Missouri, researchers concluded that iPhone users solving a series of puzzles performed better when they had their iPhones with them.
Those participants that did not have their iPhones experienced significant physical changes — elevated heart rate, blood pressure and anxiety — alongside poorer cognitive performance.
This rang so true to me! Anxiety, worry, distraction…all feelings I experienced that day when I left my phone at home. I felt like I kept reaching in the console for my phone and I was in fact, very distracted.
There hasn't been extensive research done on effects of cell phone separation, according to the study, which was published in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. However, in light of more research-going cold turkey and ditching your phone isn't advised.
Based on the results of the study, there's a suggestion that if you want to perform your best during important meetings, tests or any activity that requires your full attention, you should keep your phone with you.
According to Time.com, “The results from our study suggest that iPhones are capable of becoming an extension of our selves such that when separated, we experience a lessening of ‘self’ and a negative physiological state,” Russell Clayton, the study’s lead author, said in the statement.
Has it really come to this? Are we in fact not able to be our best selves without our phones? Please share your thoughts and any suggestions on how to better manage this new type of anxiety.