Nomophobic. It means fear of being without one's cell phone. The derivation of the word is simple. "No mobile phone" fear. And it's on the rise.
Ten years ago when I was driving home from work I would notice the occasional driver talking on his or her cell phone. But that was then, and this is now. A week or two ago I did an informal survey and noticed that in one five-minute stretch a full 80% of the people coming toward me had a cell phone pressed tightly to their ear. Of course, that was about 5:00 in the evening, and it was possible that these folks were calling home to see if they needed to pick up bread and milk. But 80% of them?
Who are all those people calling while driving? Not everyone can be checking to see if they need to stop by the grocery or cleaners. My theory is that, in our modern world, we're so committed to multitasking that we can't stand the thought of "wasting" time behind the wheel of the car. We need to be talking. We need to be doing. Otherwise, someone might get ahead of us. Or, maybe they're already there.
There was an excellent blog post recently about quiet time for writers, time to "brood" as it were. Often, when I'm in the car alone, I keep the radio off and simply meditate. I have to admit that I get some of my best ideas then. But, as Wordsworth said, "the world is too much with us, late and soon." Apparently I'm in a distinct minority when it comes to having a quiet time. Others prefer to glue a cell phone to their ear. That's their choice, but it still makes we wonder.
Do you talk on your cell phone when you drive? Why? Or why not? Let me know.