My Smartphone, Myself: Digital Separation Anxiety in The Postmodern World
Abraham Martínez González, 18 Jan 17
       

Are we living in a postmodern screen dream?

Has this ever happened to you: you accidentally leave your cell phone at home, and it feels like your soul has stayed there with it? Your nerves crackle, you feel short of breath – in short, you panic. The specific reaction to a forgotten device depends on the individual, but in the end it’s basically separation anxiety: you find yourself far from something that’s really important to you.

In today’s technology-driven reality, we are seeing the emergence of this new symptom – what I call “anxiety of the disconnected”. It may sound trite, but the phenomenon is real enough to have been studied.

The Gabinete de Comunicación Estratégica in Mexico confirmed in a 2016 study that 25% of the country’s population has felt sad or anxious upon not receiving a “like” on their Facebook status, or when they lose internet connection.

In the United States, psychological studies on the relationship between internet connectivity and anxiety have shown that additional symptoms include headache, disturbances in sleep and strained vision.

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