Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Information Anxiety

If you're anything like me, your cellphone is like a part of your body. I can't go anywere without it, and I hate to admit that I am actually afraid to turn it off at night. Should I acidentally leave it at home one day, I spend the whole day in a desperate panic that someone important is trying to call, or that I'm going to miss out on some crucial infomation, gossip or invite from a friend. By leaving it on and always having it with me, I am reachable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I hate to be unreachable. We have a bach in the coromandel that for a long time didn't get reception, so everyday when we drove to a local town with reception I would eagerly await that familiar beep. But now that we've got reception there I no longer have to wait in frustration, I never have to worry of being unreachable.

So my obsession with always being reachable obviously entails that I check my phone constantly just in case I may have not heard it beep. Or ring. In fact, I am begginning to wonder how I ever survived without it before.

When I was 15, which by today's standards is really old, I got a cellphone 'just in case' of emergencies. Of course texting didn't exist at the time, but having the phone was a kind of priviledge, and hardly an extension of my body. I honestly can't remember how or when it went from a just-in-case-of-emergencies priviledge to a device that I feel I just can't live without.

But what I don't understand is that I know, rationally, I don't really need the phone. I actually could live without it. If I need to contact someone there are payphones, and there usually isn't something so important that I can't wait to get home to find it out. But the thought of having to wait a few hours to find out information is somewhat scary. If something happens, or someone is nearby or wants to do something, I want to know NOW. I don't want to find out after everyone else, I don't want to have to make plans in advance and then have to stick to them exactly, I want the flexibility of having a cellphone. And I want to be reachable, just in case. I've got 'information anxiety' - I can't stand to be unreachable, unavailable or unable to receive information from people, so my phone is on, 24/7 and I'm always checking it, just in case.

3 Comments:

At 10:59 AM, Blogger Rach said...

Yeah, i TOTALLY know what you are talking about! I too, have my fone attached to me everywhere i go!

For me, if my battery dies or i happen to leave it at home, i think about all the important texts i "could" be getting! Chances are that im not missing many texts at all, and definately none of any importance, but its the thought of not "knowing" i think!

Times have definately changed and i think that to people of our generation mobiles are part of our lifestyle!

So i fully understand where you're coming from!

 
At 11:09 AM, Blogger mags said...

Yeah, its weird ay - that we actually get quite panicky when we are out of reach, think that somehow we might miss out on somthing. When I go home (right up north) the only place I get reception is under the stair case (dont ask me how I figured that one out because I actually dont know). But I find after a while of being up north, and not being able to be bothered hanging out under the stairs, I begin to realise how intrusive a mobile can be - and how peaceful it is knowing that no one is going to be able to get hold of you until you choose.

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger Andrew Cozens said...

I used to think i needed my phone around me all the time but after i broke it a few months ago i realised i don't need it quite as much as i previously thought.

The main thing about cellphones which piss me off are people who refuse to turn their phones off in the movies or at least put them on silent.. and the people who go into a movie theatre and then spend the entire duration of the movie texting :/ I want to watch the god damn movie!!!

 

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