Smartphone Separation Anxiety

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 world?

Well, contrary to common opinion, it goes beyond just a simple digital itch.

According to 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 receive calls. 

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 ourselves’.

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 us.

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 being. 

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 gatherings. 

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. 


Working to 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