Do you ever get a panicked feeling when you realise you've left your smartphone at home or in the car? It may sound a little silly, but it turns out Smartphone (iPhone) Separation Anxiety is a real thing. Recent research led by Russell Clayton, a doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, seems to suggest that people's ability to take tests and other tasks can be hindered if you take their phones away from them.
The study is actually quite interesting (read it here), and while the test group was small, I would venture to guess that the test results would hold true across a broader sampling of people. In the article linked above though, Clayton says "Additionally, 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.", which gave me pause. If we've gone so far as a society as to feel a lessening of self when we're apart from our phones… we may need to take a step back and think for a minute. Your identity shouldn't be tied to the phone in your pocket, any more than it is the car you drive or the clothes you wear.
So, what do we do about all this? Well, maybe unplugging for a bit wouldn't be a bad idea. Some call it a "tech detox", I like to call it a vacation. In the spot we also discussed something called Phantom Virbation Syndrome, something I have personally experienced. The idea is this, you think you feel a buzzing in your pocket, when in fact your phone didn't ring, or wasn't even in your pocket. It's a bit odd to think we've conditioned ourselves so much to feeling a vibration on our leg that when we go long enough without sensing it, our body produces the sensation on its own! I have been able to rid myself of PVS by taking a couple of steps. As I mention in the video, turn all the notifications off on your phone except for maybe the ringer. I finally came to the conclusion that I simply don't need to be aware of, or interrupted for, every single goings on with my networks instantly. That, and taking my phone out of my pocket more often and thus narrowing the possibility that I'll feel a virbation on my leg further, seems to have helped tremendously.