Nomophobia is the irrational fear of not having your cell phone and it can seriously affect your health and well-being. Learn how to prevent.
Ever heard of nomophobia? This term describes the irrational fear of not having your cell phone close at hand in an era when it seems almost impossible to live without one.
The truth is that the use of mobile phones has been growing exponentially in recent years, especially since the appearance of smart devices (the so famous and beloved smartphones).
Cell phones have become our companions in social life, at work, at leisure and even within the family. After all, we need them to talk to people who are far away, make video calls, respond to emails or visualize the tasks for the next day.
The reasons why each of us uses a cell phone on a daily basis can be many and different. However, we can reach a consensus when we say that excessive use can cause serious addiction, fear and addiction problems.
What is nomophobia?
A nomophobia is the term that describes the fear of being without contact with the cell phone and it is a word that derives from the English expression “no mobile phone phobia”.
Although it is still not a term recognized by the medical community, it has been studied and evaluated since 2008 with the aim of describing the addictive behavioras well as the feelings of distress and anxiety that some people demonstrate when they don’t have their cell phones.
As a rule, nomophobia is identified mainly in pre-adolescents and adolescents – as they are the ones who consume this type of technology the most and spend the most time on social networks.
Furthermore, as it constitutes a phobia, it is not always easy to identify the cause that leads the individual to feel anxiety about being away from the cell phone.
However, in some cases, these types of feelings are commonly justified with the fear not being able to know what is happening in the world or the fact that medical help may be needed and there is no way to ask for it.
Advanced technology and easy internet connection
Having a smartphone these days does not seem to be uncommon. Quite the contrary – every day we see hundreds of people on the street, on transport or at work looking directly at their cell phones with screens the size of the palm of the hand.
The truth is that the younger layer is the one that has been suffering more and more from this addiction that is the cell phone and everything he has to offer us (or entertain).
And while the older generations tend to look to the cell phone as a work tool or just to keep in touch with friends and family, younger people seem to rely more and more on this type of device.
In fact, technological advances and the ease of accessing the internet anywhere seem to work as two seeds for nomophobia. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to observe so easily the eyes on the screen of the smartphones as we walk through the streets.
There are serious consequences for our health associated with nomophobia
Although many of us are aware of what an excessive use of the cell phone will be, some people end up not even realizing the time they spend with it in their hand throughout the day.
And the truth is this addiction and fear of being without our smartphone can have serious psychological consequences for our health and well-being. The most common ones are anxiety, depression and isolation.
This is because mobile phones are believed to keep us in touch with each other. But the big problem arises when virtual relationships end up replacing face-to-face ones.
In addition to this, there are also physical consequences related to nomophobia, such as: headaches, discomfort in the eyes due to overexposure of the screen, stomach aches or even pain in the wrist, neck and spine due to improper posture.
Nomophobia can be prevented
As in all dependencies, prevention also plays a fundamental role here. For that very reason, there are some very simple measures in order to avoid excessive use of the cell phone or extreme dependence. Take note:
- silence notifications during work, classes, study time and even moments with family or friends;
- uninstall some applications that we consider to be a waste of time (such as games, for example);
- not using the cell phone during meals (even leaving it in another room);
- set hours to open certain applications in order to reduce usage time;
- whenever we are talking, eating or spending time with other people we should not look at the cell phone;
- not using the smartphone as an alarm clock as it can interfere with our sleep cycle;
- going outside without taking your cell phone;
- charge it outside the room.
If you feel that you’ve been more dependent on your cell phone lately, implementing some of these measures in your day-to-day life can go a long way in combating this little addiction. Basically, the objective is to prevent more serious situations like nomophobia and help those who feel completely dependent on their smartphone.
Taking a break from social media can also be very useful, especially for younger people who deal with the lives of others through the screen on a daily basis..
The ideal is to always adapt the strategies to the needs of each one and manage, through small steps, to reduce the number of hours with the mobile phone nearby.