I've been writing the following for awhile, watching as the world's largest granfalloon finally gets the scrutiny it so deserves. You can call it a disease, or an uneasiness, general queasiness, whatever, I find Facebook to be sickening. It is greedy, grasping your time and attention, and constantly reminds you to connect with an old friend you may have good reason to forget. Worse than that, a long-lost distant family relative may show up wanting a handout, or at the very least a place to stay. Some might want that kind of attention, those who gaze fondly upon their own visage every time they pass a mirror, others wish to be left alone. The wise are not laughing at the way folks spend their time obsessing over the latest social media meme. The American cultural icon, Moby, sums it all up quite succinctly in an animated video for his song “Are You Lost In The World Like Me?” Check it out, the world goes mad for their smartphones and all fall into the abyss like lemmings into the sea. This type of dependence syndrome is sweeping the nation, and is deliberately thrust upon us by the corporate demons at such places as EvilCorp, Google, Apple and Samsung. Even Microsoft has tried to jump onto the smartphone phenomenon. Decades ago I witnessed a startling glimpse of the future when cruising a freeway in the Las Vegas area and seeing four people riding in a car, each on different cell phones. Were they talking to each other I wondered as they weaved and wandered in the lanes of traffic seemingly oblivious to others? The reality was that they were all off in worlds apart from each other in spite of occupying the same space. Clinical psychologist Lisa Merlo says, "Some patients pretend to talk on the phone or fiddle with apps to avoid eye contact or other interactions at a party." Now another generation was raised to think this is normal behavior, further depersonalizing and isolating us from each other. The author, James Katz, writes: "They [mobile phones] have transformed social practices and changed the way we do business, yet surprisingly we have little perception on their effect in our lives." The reality is worse than one might want to think. More than 25% of the people surveyed by Gazelle magazine said they 'almost always' use their smartphone while in a social setting such as during a meal or during a party. My family would let the phone ring during dinner when we grew up. No one dared answer it lest they incur the wrath of Dad. And yet we do all this despite the realization that overusing cell phones increases one's risk of cancer. There is a lot of research proving an association with headaches, impaired memory and concentration, fatigue, dizziness and disturbed sleep. Wikipedia states these are all symptoms of radiation sickness. Just like the fictional fate of the character 'Chuck' in the show “Better Call Saul,” some people may develop an extreme sensitivity to electromagnetic fields. Users of social media platforms like Facebook are becoming addicted to their smartphones in astonishing numbers. Almost everyone is using their smartphone for everything from a phone to watching videos, reading books and viewing media, and playing mindless games which keep them 'occupied' and slavishly devoted to their devices. Having trouble sleeping of late? Swedish research shows smartphone use before bed can cause insomnia. There is a lot of research also on the damaging effects of the blue light on sleep patterns. Ever notice how brilliantly blue things shine on a smartphone? It is yet another feature carefully engineered to keep you hanging onto and using your device 24/7/365. The flipside of all this never-ending stream of information is nomophobia! You may ask what is that???!!! Nomophobia is an anxiety disorder that blossoms out of control when one is deprived of cellphone or Internet service. An abbreviation of "no-mobile-phone phobia,” It was originally described during a 2008 study in the UK evaluating anxieties suffered by mobile phone users. “The study found that nearly 53% of mobile phone users in Britain tend to be anxious when they lose their mobile phone, run out of battery or credit, or have no network coverage.” - Wikipedia Like others, I have a smartphone. It's there on the table, but as of now I don't walk about with it, so be prepared to leave voice messages if you actually call that number. If it rings I'll stroll by and see who called. If it beeps I'll see the text message on the screen. That doesn't mean I will actually do anything as a result, but it's there just in case.