Reader Participation Day: Does Availability of Cell Phone Service Affect Your Decision to Visit a Park?
Are you one of the increasing number of people who suffer from nomophobia?
That's a term derived from "no-mobile-phone phobia," or the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. A recent survey in the United Kingdom found that about two-thirds of those questioned admitted to anxiety if they didn't have contact with the important people in their lives 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
When the term first arose it applied primarily to the fear of losing one's phone, running out of "minutes" or draining the cell phone battery, but it's been expanded to include situations when you're in places where a signal isn't available. There's even a website dealing with the problem: The Mobile Phone Anxiety Centre offers "Tips for avoiding loss of mobile contact."
It's an issue that certainly has implications for many national parks and other natural areas. As we've reported on the Traveler in the past, proposals to construct new towers to expand cell phone coverage in national parks can be counted on to draw plenty of comments, pro and con.
So, what about you? Are you anxious about being out of cell phone contact during a park visit?
Would you actually decide to skip a trip to a park just because the answer to "can you hear me now?" is ..."no"?