Nomophobia: the growing addiction to the mobile phone
Due to technological advances, social networks and the presence of the internet in practically all mobile phones, we spent many hours of the day connected to "smartphone ”.
This causes that when we are incommunicado, without a cell phone, we feel lost in this world dependent on new technologies.
Mobile phone addiction: causes and symptoms
Although the use of technology can be very useful, because it allows us to be constantly in connection with almost every corner of the planet, the incommunication can produce a sensation of anxiety that invades us and makes us intensely desire the moment when we are again connected.
The anxious and obsessive symptoms that we present when we are out of mobile have been recognized by psychologists, and this excessive and irrational fear of being without a smartphone has been baptized as "Nomophobia " The term comes from the English expression "no-mobile-phone phobia" From this syndrome we will speak today, not only to focus on the negative aspects of new technologies, but also to try to reflect on the use that we make of them.
The first study on Nomophobia
Many experts talk about Nomophobia as the new disease of the 21st century . Studies on this phenomenon began in 2011 in the United Kingdom, with research carried out by the United Kingdom Post Office and the YouGo Demoscopic Institute.
The study included 2,163 subjects, and the data revealed that 53% of mobile phone users in the UK feel anxious when their mobile phone's battery runs out, they lose it or they run out of coverage. The study also revealed that 58% of men and 48% of women suffer from this disorder.
The study also concluded that the stress levels of people with Nomophobia were comparable to what a person can have the day before their wedding. In addition, 55% of the participants said "feeling isolated" when they did not have a cell phone.
How is a person with Nomofobia
There are many people who suffer dependence on the mobile phone and are contacted 24 hours a day , and experts think that the profile of the nomophobic person is that of a person who has little self-confidence and low self-esteem, with a lack of social skills and conflict resolution, and who in his leisure time only uses his mobile phone and unable to enjoy without him.
Regarding age, This disorder is more common in adolescents, because they have more need to be accepted by others and are more familiar with new technologies.
Symptoms of Nomophobia
The symptoms that a person with Nomofobia can present are the following:
- Sensation of anxiety
- Obsessive thoughts
- Stomach ache
Education is basic to prevent this type of pathologies associated with the use of new technologies
Nomophobia is another of the pathologies directly associated with the use and development of new technologies. Since the emergence of smartphones, more and more people are relying exclusively on these devices and more and more users have developed this disorder.
Although adults can also suffer from this disorder, children and young people are more likely to suffer mental health problems as a result of the dependence on new technologies , because they spend many hours connected and develop their identity in social networks. They are the "digital natives"; people who have lived since their birth surrounded by technologies of this type.
Learning to use technology in moderation
Regarding this, the psychologist Jonathan García-Allen in the article "Syndrome FOMO: feeling that the life of others is more interesting", says that "education is basic to prevent this type of pathologies and must be done from an early age". According to García-Allen himself, "The main problem is not new technologies, but the pathological use of them, which can materialize both in addiction and in uses that can generate psychological problems."
Therefore, the key is not to prohibit the use of smartphones for children and adolescents, but to make them understand the importance of the correct use of these devices and ensure an education that includes both the positive aspects of new technologies and the improper and pathological uses . In this regard, the prevention in the family environment and at school is the key element.