Once in a while, the NY Times takes a break from increasingly self-parodying trend stories and fawning over the latest skin-crawling style icons to do some superlative reporting, incredible multimedia pieces, or make up surprisingly handy new words. The NY Times Magazine has been publishing Lizzie Skurnick's imaginative "That Should Be A Word" pieces for quite a while now, but today's word struck us as particular useful: Fidgital.
Fidgital (FIJ-IH-TULL), ADJ.
1. Excessively checking one’s devices. “Victoria grew tired of watching her fidgital fiancé glance at his iPhone every five seconds.” See also: Supdate (food-related status); keybard (a skilled texter).
Sure, we can't say we're fans of "keybard," but fidgital is an especially good term because it identifies a noxious trend that seems to have infiltrated every level of in-person social interactions. It's an epidemic we've encountered in person too many times, and fallen prey to ourselves—and it's led to many an awkward stand-off, especially when an argument starts with "I have work obligations" and ends up with "So maybe I am a little OCD, so what?"
And the fact that it sounds like it could be a cousin to that all-inclusive whimsical put-down "flibbertigibbet" only adds to the fun. Of course, we're a bit confused why it's spelled "Figital" in the accompanying graphic rather than the more intuitive (at least to us) fidgital. It seems like the word touched a nerve on Twitter:
— Mike Weisbart (@mikeweisbart) January 6, 2013
— Sunnie Huang (@smiliesunnie) January 6, 2013
— Dan Hocking (@danhocking) January 6, 2013
— Laura Nelkin (@LNelkin) January 6, 2013
— Ashley Lee (@ashleyllee) January 6, 2013
— Gina (@LetterandLine) January 6, 2013
— Elin Silveous (@ElinSilveous) January 6, 2013
— Kate Day (@kate_day) January 6, 2013