I Have “Reverse iPhone Separation Anxiety”

“Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety” – Plato

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It’s true. I have iPhone separation anxiety. But not in the manner you assume. My anxiety stems from the constant separation between Mrs. Lawrence and her iPhone.

A few years ago we made a conscious decision to ditch our landline at home. Our phone number had apparently made the rounds and we were bombarded with marketing type calls, both day and night, and the “Do Not Call” list did us zero good. We both owned cell phones for years and had, at that time, upgraded to the iPhone 4s, so no harm in untethering, right? Wrong. Seem that one of us has a nasty habit of never being near her phone, particularly, when I try to reach her. Which causes me to worry. Which causes anxiety. Which then causes me to use the best ever invented iPhone app, “Find My Phone”. I call it concern for her welfare. She calls it stalking.

But now I have medical(?) research on my side. A recent study done by the University of Missouri, and published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (no, I didn’t make that up), under the title “The Extended iSelf: The Impact of iPhone Separation on Cognition, Emotion and Physiology”, has determined that iPhone users, when separated from their phones, experienced significant physical changes–elevated heart rate, blood pressure and anxiety–alongside poorer cognitive performance.

The actual publication is kind of dry and lengthy, so I’ll spare you the psycho-babble and just mention their astute conclusion:

This study examined how extended self, cognition, emotion, and physiology are affected when iPhone users are unable to answer their iPhone during cognitive tasks. Overall, it appears that iPhone separation negatively affects the aforementioned outcomes. The preceding results serve to propel this line of inquiry toward a better understanding of how technology separation affects users.” (My emphasis)

Here are my recommendations for their “further inquiry”:

  • Include Mrs. Lawrence in your further testing. Apparently, she contradicts your findings.
  • Conduct a study of the anxiety felt by those of us who can’t ever reach our loved ones because they never have their phones within earshot!
  • I see your study only included iPhones. Does the same apply to Android phones or the 5 people in the world who own Windows phones?

Please advise on the above as soon as possible. Otherwise, Mrs. Lawrence and I will be downgrading our shiny new iPhone 6s to Jitterbugs.

Separation-Anxiety

3 thoughts on “I Have “Reverse iPhone Separation Anxiety”

  1. I have the same problem. I sometimes forget to turn on my phone, but my husband never turns his on or takes it when he is golfing!

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