When I first heard the term “Cell Phone Zombies” I figured it was just some weird ass name of an obscure band trying to make a splash with catchy title or some schtick that would catapult them from the status of one hit wonder to actual artist.
I wish that were true but then I started to take a good look around and it wasn’t long before I noticed just how wrong I was.
We’re surrounded by them on sidewalks and most other public places. Shit, many of them are even driving around endangering innocent bystanders and fellow drivers since their eyes are transfixed to the glowing rectangle and not on the road where they should be. In an effort to stem this behavior many localities have passed laws forbidding this practice but they are usually ignored by Cell Phone Zombies who try and justify their actions with lame excuses. Cell Phone Zombies are increasing daily and it appears that we are losing the battle.
Once thought to afflict only the younger generation with short attention spans Cell Phone Zombieism is now spreading to the middle age and senior citizen populations in epidemic proportions and much like many other diseases that afflict the living the symptoms associated with being a Cell Phone Zombie are often hidden and are hard to detect. They start out subtle in nature and then once the infection takes hold the living are then transformed into a shell of their former selves.
No one is quite sure how the disease is spread but according to my sources at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention initial research indicates that a new kind of endorphin is released and triggers something into the brains pleasure center. This causes sufferers of the disease to don a blank expression of incoherence to appear on their face when engaged in face to face conversation. As the disease progresses Cell Phone Zombies will forgo basic life necessities such as food and drink in order to remain fixated on their hand held devices. When deprived of said devices they often suffer varying stages of withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and depression. At first, they will glance around nervously and start patting their pockets to reassure themselves that their cell phone is never more than an arms length away. Upon discovering that their device has been lost or is no longer operable Cell Phone Zombies will not try and blend in with the general population. Instead they will resort to fits of silence and confusion and are left to wonder about what is being updated on Facebook and why they can’t access the information. This is followed by deepening bouts of depression and a feeling of isolation and loneliness when they can’t make contact to their virtual world.
Most Cell Phone Zombies are in a state of denial when asked about their condition. They offer up the same excuse of other addictions such as gambling or alcohol. It’s the familiar refrain “I can stop anytime I want”.
As a public service I’d like to offer up the following tips to determine if you too are turning in to a Cell Phone Zombie and some of my thoughts on the matter. Please keep in mind that I’m not an expert but most of my replies are based on good old fashioned common sense.
Have you given your cell phone a human sounding name or other attributes associated with homo sapien behavior?
That’s just plain wrong. Giving human names to inanimate objects is spooky. It does not now, or ever will, love you back.
Do you constantly reach in your pocket or purse to make sure your cell phone is always nearby and have a panic attack when you realize it’s gone?
Okay, this is a somewhat mild symptom of Cell Phone Zombieism. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve also done this on occasion. However, if you do this more than once every few hours just to reassure yourself that it is nearby it should be a warning signal that the addiction is beginning to take hold.
When you meet others that have the same phone as you do you find that the phone itself is the main topic of conversation?
I’ve witnessed this kind of behavior before and it kind of scares me. It’s as if these people are talking a secret language known only to themselves. Who knows what they might be really saying?
Do you find yourself wondering about how many minutes you might have left on your phone before it dies?
Again, this one isn’t so bad but if you start asking random acquaintances or even complete strangers if you can borrow their phone charger you might be in the early stages of addiction.
Does your phone emit various bells and whistles to remind you about such basic things like when to put out the garbage or feed the cat?
What the fuck is wrong with you? Have you become so dependent that you react like Pavlov's Dog each time your phone makes a noise? I want to make it clear that I'm not making reference to such life saving reminders like taking a pill or some other form of medication. In fact, I applaud the technology that makes things like that possible.
Have you ever bumped into anything like a door, a tree or another human being while gazing into your cell phone. This also includes things like wandering into oncoming traffic or tripping down the stairs.
Look here, I know many of us are easily distracted but think about it for a moment. You are putting yourself and others at some degree of danger by this behavior. Besides, even if the only person you hurt is yourself you still don’t want to be a video clip on tosh.0 or go viral on the web.
Do you check your phone at least once every half hour to ensure that you haven’t missed a message?
Get a grip! Most of that stuff isn’t as important as it seems and doesn’t require an immediate response. It’s not like your house is on fire and you’ve got to get the hell out of there. I’ve had people text me telling me that they sent a text a half hour ago and haven’t heard back. People, lighten up.
Can you resist the urge to go without your cell phone for twenty four hours?
Many people claim to have tried this and failed miserably. This definitely shows signs that they are in the latter stages of Cell Phone Zombieism and in lieu of seeking medical help, friends and family should stage an intervention.
Last, do you take and/or use your cell phone when heeding the call of nature?
That’s fucking disgusting.
If you answered “yes” to three or more of these questions you might be wandering down the path into becoming a Cell Phone Zombie. Seek help or counseling in the form of a real live human being immediately or suffer the consequences of missing the beautiful world going on all around you.
Note: Do not call the 1-800 number for cell phone addiction or return text messages from anonymous sources claiming they can cure you of being a Cell Phone Zombie. It's just a scam in order to drag you in deeper and deeper.