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Hiding Behind Your Phone?

Hiding Behind Your Phone?As technology advances, certain ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ continue to manifest. Among the pros: We can readily be in touch with friends and family; simple text messages yield instant communication.

Among the cons: Scrolling through the Internet on your smartphone during a party may remove you from the moment.

But what about confrontation? Not necessarily a crucial dialogue with another individual — confrontation with yourself. Do people hide behind their phones to avoid being completely alone? If alone, problems have to be addressed. Fears, vulnerability or emotional pain may surface.

According to one recent article, 56 percent of Americans own a smartphone and many feel very unsettled if their phone isn’t with them.

“There’s now a name coined for the fear of being without your phone: nomophobia – that rush of anxiety and fear when you realize you are disconnected – out of the loop with friends, family, work and the world,” the article stated.

Hmm. Sounds like this attachment to the cell phone is reaching new heights.

A post on Gawker highlights comedian Louis C.K.’s appearance on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” where he openly discussed his views on the smartphone culture.

He adamantly stressed the unfavorable emotional consequences that these phones have on adults. When moments are uncomfortable or painful or lonely and it’s too hard to sift through the rubble, people immediately cling to their phones for an escape, to evade the issues at hand.

“And sometimes when things clear away, you’re not watching anything, you’re in your car, and you start going ‘Oh no, here it comes. That I’m alone,’” he said.

He referred to the time he heard Bruce Springsteen’s “Jungleland,” in his car — a song of yearning, melancholy and suffering.

“And I go, ‘oh, I’m getting sad, gotta get the phone and write hi to like 50 people’… then I said, ‘You know what, don’t. Just be sad.’ And I let it come, and I just started to cry (a lot). I cried so much. And it was beautiful. Sadness is poetic. You’re lucky to live in sad moments. And then I had happy feelings. Because when you let yourself feel sad, your body has antibodies, it has happiness that comes rushing in to meet the sadness. So I was grateful to feel sad, and then I was met with true, profound happiness. It was such a trip.”

While he conveyed his thoughts humorously, there’s valuable insight within his sentiments. Perhaps individuals do utilize these devices to run away. As challenging as it is to immerse yourself in heartache, there’s also something brave, bold and wonderfully authentic and cathartic in doing so.

As technological advancements flourish, we can become more mindful of their various effects. When faced with unpleasantries, are you gravitating toward the phone as a means to dodge confrontation?

Hiding Behind Your Phone?


Lauren Suval

Lauren Suval studied print journalism and psychology at Hofstra University, and she is a writer based in New York. Her work has been featured on Thought Catalog, Catapult Community, and other online publications. Lauren's e-book “Coping With Life’s Clutter” and her latest book, “The Art Of Nostalgia,” a collection of personal essays, can both be found on Amazon. She loves to be followed on Twitter @LaurenSuval.


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APA Reference
Suval, L. (2018). Hiding Behind Your Phone?. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 16, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/hiding-behind-your-phone/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.