My blog from four weeks ago was entitled Doing Business the “FOMO” Way and it focused on people (most all of us) being driven by the “fear of missing out.” We are so fearful of missing out on anything and everything – to the point of panicking and being driven by a sense of urgency to cram as much productivity into each minute as humanly possible.

Well, today I heard from my good friend and colleague Mark Michelson, owner of Michelson & Associates, Inc. He recently attended TMRE, The Market Research Event in Nashville, TN. He recapped a few breakout sessions from the conference. And I learned another new word: Nomophobia.

So as a follow up to FOMO, Mark now introduced me to the fear of leaving your cell phone behind…Nomophobia.

Ironically, as I read Mark’s comments, which I found very interesting, I glanced at my watch and realized I had a business luncheon scheduled for 11:45 and it was past 11:30 and I had a good 20-minute drive across busy Dallas streets. Ugh. I grabbed my purse and headed for my car. You guessed it – I forgot my cell phone! I got about half way to my destination and I realized I was going to be late. I hate to be late. The thought of someone sitting and waiting for me upsets me. After all, they are probably experiencing FOMO and I began experiencing NOMOPHOBIA. Are we talking English here?

I was almost ten minutes late. He had been trying to call me to see if I was on my way. He was concerned I was not coming at all. I apologized profusely. He still had his cell phone in his hand and he said, “Well, this is the beauty of cell phones, I was able to conduct a little business while I was waiting on you.”

I read a religious-oriented article years ago that said, “What if we treated our Bible like we do our cell phone? If we forgot our Bible, would we rush back home to pick it up? Would we tell all of our friends how into our Bible we are and how we couldn’t live without it?” Thought-provoking, huh?

Ok, so back to our cell phone addition. As a researcher and gatherer of customer opinion data, how wonderful it is to know that Feedback mystery shoppers and our clients’ actual customers are equipped every minute with this precious tool which can be used to enter important data. Feedback clients want immediate feedback. Once a mystery shopper leaves a store, or sometimes while they are still inside a store (who thinks anything of a customer texting while they browse around their store?) all impressions are current and crystal clear. Did the sales associate greet you within 30 seconds? Was she wearing a nametag? These questions are easy to answer within minutes of a visit.

I’ve received a few free desserts just for entering a customer opinion response on my cell phone. I’m sure you have too.

As with any invention, and especially in this age of high-speed technology devices, whatever it is, it can be a blessing and a curse.

I guess my advice to all of us would be to take a break now and then. Turn off your cell phone.

Oh..oh…I’m feeling the onset of Nomophobia.

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