Nomophobia - why is this becoming a real problem in today's society?

 

90% of the Americans at least own a cell phone. 58% of them are Smartphone users. This is according to the research carried by the Pew Research Center. Nomophobia is a name given to Smartphone addiction which is gradually creeping and drifting away most youths and adults alike. SecurEnvoy reports that nomophobia or no-mobile-phobia is common with young people aged 18-24 years followed by those in the age bracket of 25-34 years. Regarding gender, women are more nomophobic (fear losing their smartphones) with 70% while men are 61% nomophobic. Further reports show that men are more likely to own two Smartphones.

Signs of nomophobia

If you find that you are incapable of turning off your Smartphone, or you regularly check for missed calls or new emails and can’t bear to see the battery running down if you have no way of recharging it, then the chances are high that you are Nomophobic. Some nomophobics can’t even think about leaving their Smartphones behind when going to the bathroom. 

Why is nomophobia becoming a major issue of concern?

According to a study done at the Iowa State University, this is how students felt when separated from their Smartphone:

  • They lose connection to their online identity
  •  Cannot communicate with their friends / clients
  •  Lose access to information on what happens around them
  •  Sense of isolation and inconvenience

When some people are separated from their Smartphone, they can feel panicky and desperate with an inability to focus on even the most routine of tasks.

It is not a surprise that a huge percentage of people develop a full-blown psychological attachment to their smartphones. Maybe we can attribute nomophobia to the smartphone portability, easy access to the internet, and availability.  

Though mobile technology has enabled us to accomplish most day to day tasks with much greater efficiency, the downside is that it poses risks to our health. Nomophobia is a small portion of the larger problem. The quicker you get access to smartphones, the more the nomophobia intoxication you get.

So, far there are no certified nomophobia practitioners to save us from this condition of despair. The consequences of nomophobia vary from one individual to another. Panic, depression, and recurring anxiety attacks have become the order of the day with youths who lose their cell phones.

Accidents happen due to drivers paying much of their attention to their cell phones. Dr. Sanjay Dixit, the head of Indian Journal of Community Medicine confirms that nomophobes cause about 25% of the accidents.

You will probable have heard of tennis elbow and housemaids knee but have you heard of ‘textthumb’?! Excessive texting accounts for 20% of the thumb pains among the nomophobes. 

Solutions

Is there a way we can tackle nomophobia? To some extent, although it is both obvious and sensible, switching off your phone when driving and when doing other tasks requiring your concentration can help.

The Facebook likes and the shared Tweets received also encourage a constant check on the Smartphone because they provide a feeling of self-importance and reassurance to the insecure which, although in most cases are irrelevant, can increase nomophobia.

Mayfair cares and would like your opinion on this growing trend.

 

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