Is your phone battery running your life?
I’m not ashamed to admit it — I suffer from Low Battery Anxiety. Not familiar with that condition? Let me put it in terms most of you will understand. What happens to your stress level when your mobile phone dips below a 20% battery charge? You kind of lose your mind, don’t you? I know I do. And I know I’m not alone.
According to a new survey sponsored by LG, nearly 9 out of 10 people said they “felt panic” when their mobile phone battery dropped to 20 percent or lower. Their research shows that, when that little battery icon goes from green to red, it can straight-up ruin your day and send you into a personal tailspin.
And I TOTALLY believe that. That data makes WAY too much sense to me. I’ve had SO many personal experiences with Low Battery Anxiety. It starts innocently enough in my head …
“Do I have my charger? Left it at home. Dammit. If I start closing apps, will that help? What about airplane mode? Oh god, did I have Google Maps open this whole time? Wait, does that guy have a charger I can… crap, different cord… OK. I can’t look at it any more. How did it drop 8 percentage points in 30 seconds?! If I hit the “Home” button again, does that drain my battery? AAAGH! That’s it. I’m going home!”
The LG study showed that, if caught out in public with a dying cell phone and no charger, 32 percent of users will “drop everything,” cancel their plans, and head back home solely to charge their phones. Isn’t that CRAZY? Why are we letting our PHONES dictate how we live our lives?
If you’re not sure if you (or your loved ones) suffer from Low Battery Anxiety, take a look at these 7 sure-fire signs of smartphone battery panic and see if you recognize any of these behaviors. Because the first step in conquering LBA is admitting you have a problem.
If you notice that your phone charge is low, do you find yourself CONSTANTLY debating every little thing you want to do all day? This is one of the most insidious ways that a low battery phone can ruin your life – by introducing DOUBT into your daily routine. It makes you ask yourself, “Should I leave my phone on or off? Should I return that text? Can I go out for that drink?” Stop asking your phone for permission to live your life!
Everyone knows that GPS apps are battery killers, so they’re often the first app we shut down when we’re trying to save some juice. (According to the LG survey, 47% of people turn off their GPS or location finders when their phone batteries are low.) Unfortunately, those location apps are also really, really useful. So, if you find yourself aimlessly wandering around the warehouse district, looking for that bar your friend told you about, rather than just letting Google Maps guide you home, you might have an unhealthy relationship with your phone battery.
Apparently, Sean Penn isn’t the only person afraid of “ghosting.” Almost one in four people surveyed said they’d gotten into an argument with their romantic partner because of unreturned calls or texts caused by a dead smartphone battery. That’s INSANE. And 60% of respondents have blamed a dead phone for not connecting with family, friends, or loved ones. So, if you constantly find yourself pleading with your partner to believe that your battery ran out before they sent that text about picking up milk on the way home, you might be bringing your Low Battery Anxiety into the bedroom, which is NOT COOL.
This sign I kind of like because it helps justify my lack of motivation to work out every week. When surveyed, 33% of people admitted that they will cancel plans to go to the gym if their smartphones need to be charged. ONE THIRD OF US would prefer being fat to being without our phones for the night. I always knew I was lazy. I just didn’t know I was in such great company.
How many phone chargers do you own? I own WAY too many. I have at least 3 normal ones, 2 cute novelty ones that people gave me, and 2 different rechargeable phone battery packs (which still require a cable that leads to your phone). Essentially, my phone has an entourage of accessories that I find myself carting around EVERYWHERE. It’s not right. I have to break the over-accessorizing cycle. At this point, anything that makes my pockets look less like the electric outlet from A Christmas Story is a good thing.
How do you feel when someone, a friend or a stranger, asks to borrow your phone charger? Personally, I DO NOT LIKE IT. What if I need it? What if they forget to return it? Am I stuck here, waiting with them, until they get their phone back in the green? This kind of mistrust is a CLASSIC Low Battery Anxiety symptom. 71% of smartphone users dislike lending other people their chargers because they’re worried that it won’t be available when they need it. (And who can blame them?)
When your phone battery is low, do you find yourself consumed by FOMO – a.k.a “fear of missing out”? It’s a common condition. Our phones have become our lifelines to the world around us. They’re how we keep in contact with everything, so when that connection is severed by crappy battery life, it has an impact. 49% of people won’t log onto social media when their phone battery is low. 42% of people won’t take pictures anymore. 17% of male respondents missed a match on a dating app because their phone died. There is some actual data to back-up this fear. Having bad battery life DOES cause us to miss out on things, but, if it’s a constant concern, you need to take a good hard look at your relationship with your phone and decide whether you’re going to live with its limitations or upgrade and try for a higher quality of life.