Aloneness and not knowing are fundamental to being human – let’s leave the virtual world and return to the real one, says Peter Hindley

Howard Jacobson expresses surprise at his dependence on his smartphone (Weekend, 2 September). I recently lost mine, and it made me confront the two sources of anxiety my phone assuaged for me. First, the fear of being alone: my phone gave me the illusion that I could always be in contact with someone or something. Second, fear of uncertainty: my phone could always provide me with an answer for any question I wanted to ask. Aloneness and not knowing are fundamental to being human and drive much of our communication and creativity. Surely it is time for the Guardian to encourage us to give up our phones and celebrate the delights of being disconnected from the virtual world but truly connected to the real world.
Dr Peter Hindley
London

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