You know that anxious feeling you get when you leave your phone at home, or you
don’t have it with you? Like you have suddenly lost your association to the
Well, contrary to
common opinion, it goes beyond just a simple digital itch.
research, it might just point out to a new technology-inspired disorder which
is influencing your capacity to think. Phone separation anxiety, also called Nomophobia (no-mobile-phobia) is a term
that describes a feeling of stress or panic some individuals experience when
they are not close to their phones or are unable to use them. It affects adults
and teenagers alike. You are even free to participate in an online test to
verify if you have it.
Just recently, Hong Kong researchers have warned that this anxiety
is affecting virtually everyone. In their report, they indicate that
individuals who use their mobile phones for sharing, storage, and accessing of
individual memories tend to suffer the most.
Amazingly, it has nothing to do with being unable to complete or
What Causes Phone Separation Anxiety?
1. Viewing our phones as an ‘extension of ourselves’:
Phones are now so enhanced and so specific to us that they are
slowly becoming ‘an extension of
Besides acting as the storage for some of our most meaningful
messages and images, they are also a means of accessing multiple websites,
services and apps which afford us quick access to materials of significance to
As such, we have become so overly dependent on them that we regard
them just as carpenters regards their toolbox – as an extension of our very
When we are disconnected from our phones, it is like losing a limb
and creates anxiety.
2. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO):
FOMO is a fear that manifests through worries about being out of
touch with experiences, conversations, and events happening around your social
circle. It inspires a desire to continually remain connected with what others
around are engaging in.
Individuals with FOMO can only resolve this anxiety by going online.
This is manifested by people who are constantly online even when
they are at important events, out for the evening or attending family
How to deal with Phone Separation Anxiety:
Regardless of which reason best defines our nomophobia, we
ultimately need to recognise the issue and before it gets out of hand
completely. Some of the best ways include:
• Be alert:
By being conscious of your phones ability to provoke anxiety in
you, you can now see the necessity to alter your behaviours.
• Step away from it:
According to several studies, such is the distraction that comes
with the presence of a phone (even when switched off) that it can hinder a
proper face to face conversation. The longer you start spending time away from
your phone, the faster your need for it will diminish.
• Establish genuine expectations with your social partners
Let your behaviour communicate to your friends that they need not
expect your instant responses on social media. As soon as people recognise that
you not constantly monitoring your social media, the urgency to reply will diminish.
implement any of these few suggestions will ultimately result in almost instant
results and begin to make you less reliant on your phone.
And who knows, you might just find yourself rising up and not thinking any more
about where you last left your phone. Wouldn’t it be awesome?
Mayfair, we care