3/29/10

Obsessive Cell Phone Disorder

At the opera I found myself checking my phone three times (okay maybe it was four) to make sure it was off.  While Gen Y-ers’ cell phones seem like organic parts of their bodies they don’t even have to think about, I can never quite trust that mine isn’t going to misbehave somehow. I tell myself I am just a conscientious theater-goer.  After all, if my phone were to suddenly blare its raucous Latin ring in the middle of Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy, I would definitely wish “not to be.”

I do know other people who triple-check their phones; I am certainly not the only one. But are we merely being careful and courteous, or are we being neurotic, like people who can't stop washing their hands?  Let’s check for symptoms:

Obsessive Cell Phone Disorder (OCPD) Diagnostic Guidelines

How many times do you look to make sure your phone is turned off or set to “silent”?

1. At a live theater performance, a wedding or a funeral: 
    a)  Once (Only once is a little cocky in these venues, but it’s definitely non-obsessive.)
    b)  Twice  (Normal, especially at an opera or a serious play.)
    c)  Three times  (Okay, well, better safe than sorry.)
    d)  More than three times (You’ve checked it already! My god! OCPD!)

2. In a movie theater or at a lecture:
    a) Once (Totally appropriate.)
    b) Twice (Borderline, unless you are alcohol-impaired.)
    c) Three times (Ridiculous! You need behavior modification therapy. But don’t worry, I’m sure there’s an app for this.)

3.  In class, in a meeting, at a dinner party or at a restaurant:  

     a) Once  (Not exactly compulsive, but maybe a little overly-cautious.)
     b) More than once (This would probably be considered a sign of OCPD. On the other hand, you could just be clinging to laudable but outdated notions of propriety.)

4. At a family dinner:
    Turn my phone off?  What are you trying to do, kill me?

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for making me smile today! I loved this one.

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