Vocabulary: mobile phones 詞匯: 手機
It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday. I was going to meet an old university friend I hadn't seen for years, and was really excited to hear all his news.
My train was running a little late, but that was no big problem - I could text him to say I would be delayed. He would understand. But… where was my mobile phone? I had that familiar sinking feeling. Yes, I'd forgotten it at home.
No mobile phone. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling anxious, on edge and worried when I don't have my phone with me. In fact, I know I'm not alone: two-thirds of us experience 'nomophobia', the fear of being out of mobile phone contact.
That's according to a study from 2012 which surveyed 1,000 people in the UK about their relationship with mobile phones.
It says we check our mobile phones 34 times a day, that women are more 'nomophobic' than men, and that 18-24 year-olds are the most likely to suffer fear of being without their mobiles: 77% of them say they are unable to be apart from their phones for more than a few minutes.
Do you have nomophobia?
• You never turn your phone off
• You obsessively check for texts, missed calls and emails
• You always take your phone to the bathroom with you
• You never let the battery run out
It's funny to think that around 20 years ago the only people with mobile phones would be businesspeople carrying their large, plastic 'bricks'.
Of course, these days, mobile phones are everywhere. A UN study from this year said mobile phone subscriptions would outnumber people across the world by the end of 2014.
And when there are more phones than people in the world, maybe it's time to ask who really is in charge? Are you in control of your phone, or does your phone control you?
So, what happened with my university friend? When I arrived a few minutes late he just laughed and said: "You haven't changed at all – still always late!" And we had a great afternoon catching up, full of jokes and stories, with no interruptions and no nagging desire to check my phone.
Not having it with me felt strangely liberating. Maybe I'll leave it at home on purpose next time.
- 1. How did the author feel when he realised he had left his mobile phone at home?
He had a sinking feeling.
- 2. What proportion of British people are afraid of being out of mobile phone contact, according to the study?
Two-thirds of British people.
- 3. Which word was used to describe old mobile phones?
- 4. Who is more likely to be 'nomophobic'? An 18-year old girl or an 18-year-old boy?
An 18-year-old girl.
- 5. Did the author regret not having his phone after meeting his friend?
No, he felt it was 'strangely liberating'.