Over the course of the last five hours events have occurred (virtually simultaneously) that have left me questioning my own dependence on not only my smartphone but on Internet itself.
To set the scene. Around midday today, our entire building lost telephone service as well as any connection whatsoever to the outside world (exaggeration, but certainly how it felt!) No email. No Facebook. No Instant Messaging. Our connection to the Internet was broken.
People reacted very calmly for awhile and many turned to their Smartphones to "tether" their devices and create personal Internet hot spots that would enable them to continue on--business as usual.
Unfortunately, with the entire building trying to tether, the 4G network did not react well and ultimately accessing the outside world via our Smartphones was not possible either.
I began checking my phone incessantly. Could I get signal? Could I text? Could I check my Instagram account? What if someone needed me? Honestly, in just the course of a few minutes I became unsettled and anxious, but that was not the worst part. The worst part was that whilst all of this was going on in my head, I was supposedly in the middle of a conversation with a friend and I honestly can't remember a thing.
That really hit me like a ton of bricks. Recently in how many meetings or conversations have I been 100% present? I made a pact with myself a few years ago to never take my phone into meetings but I've fallen off the wagon recently.
I want to recommit to that. I don't want to ever be considered a "phubber."
According to researchers, addiction to internet has proliferated this behaviour -- known as phubbing -- wherein they are prompted to 'phub' as well as experience being 'phubbed' in social situations. The term "phubbing" represents the act of snubbing someone in a social setting by concentrating on one's phone instead of talking to the person directly.