NOMOPHOBIA a.k.a. No-Mobile-Phone phobia – Concerning Our Way of Life

Updated: Sep 6

  • Do you really feel distress when not around your phone?

  • Do you even think of living a life without a phone?

  • Do you have troubled whenever you putting down your phone for more few hours?

  • Do you feel anxiety without a smartphone in your hands?

If your answer is big “YES”, then you should know the name of that fear. Yes, you heard right, it’s a fear of losing your phone called “NOMOPHOBIA”. It’s a proposed name for phobia. It’s a phobia of being out of phone contact. “No-Mobile-Phone” phobia i.e. NOMOPHOBIA. This happens because of an over connection syndrome. Somehow our interaction with other people has been shifted from physical to virtually on the mobile.

“Smartphone is definitely smarter than us to be able to keep us addicted to it.” - Munia Khan

Ubiquitousness – State of being available everywhere at one point of time

In today’s world, the use of phone brings a lot of convenience to all our lives, but do we really justify the technology? Do you think misuse of mobile phones are justified? Is there no other way to ensure the right and relevant use of mobile phones without restricting it from everywhere?

Phobia is a type of anxiety – a feeling of uncomfortable or makes us a feel nervous. They provoke a significant fear response when you think of what you are afraid of, often causing emotional and physical symptoms. To avoid feelings of distress, you might do everything possible to keep your phone close and make sure you can use it. For example, you might:

……take it to bed, the bathroom, even to the shower

……check it constantly, even several times in an hour, to make sure it’s working and that you haven’t missed a notification

……spend several hours a day using your phone

……feel helpless without your phone

……make sure you can see it whenever it isn’t in your hand or pocket.

"Give the people in your life the gift of your presence by putting down your mobile device." - Kate Northrup

Does it have health hazards?

People are not complete without their mobile phone. We usually tend to have a mobile with us in all places where we travel. Not only this, it also creates a lot of trouble for people because of financial issues – shopping, gaming and gambling. Nomophobia presents a concern to mental health or disorder. Prime Minister Narendra Modi did mention his comments on technology impact at "Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020". Watch now.

Few interested facts:

  • People in US check their phones 96 times a day – that's once every 10 minutes.

  • An average user checks their phone 63 times a day; approx. 3.5 hrs in a day

  • 85% of users check their phone within 15 mins of walking up each morning.

  • Since March 2020 specifically after COVID-19, the average spent on mobile phone has been increased up to 25%.

What causes this Mobile Phone Phobia?

This addiction is different from other addictions because we see people who are addicted to drugs, smoking, alcohol etc. Nomophobia is considered a modern phobia. Experts said that nomophobia occurs more frequently in teenagers and young adults. It has similar sort of dependency as would happens with drugs. A fear of isolation may cause in the development of nomophobia. If your phone serves as your main method of contacting the people you care about, you’d most likely feel lonely without it. Not wanting to experience this loneliness can make you always want to keep your phone close.

Ask yourself if you have teen/kids within family:

  1. Does my teen become angry or anxious or violent when the phone is taken away?

  2. Does my teen skip food or extra circular activity to use the smartphone instead?

  3. Is my teen personal care (hygiene), schoolwork or relationships getting affected?

  4. Does smartphone use affect teen sleep?

  5. Are there any major changes in mood swings?

How is it diagnosed?

Often use of phone or looking for phone when not in hands doesn’t mean you have nomophobia. It is recommended to talk to someone if you’ve had symptoms for six months or longer, especially if these symptoms:

  • Are you a frequent user?

  • Does it affect to your work or relationship?

  • Not having a calm sleep?

  • Adverse impact on life style?

Nomophobia can be improved with treatment and change in the lifestyle. Try out following:

  • Turn off your phone or put phone on silent (no vibration) at night to get more restful sleep.

  • If you need an alarm to wake up, buy an alarm clock and put at some distance.

  • Try to leave your phone at home when you go to walk, market or during your meals.

  • Spend some time each day away from all technology.

  • Avoid video calls and meet to your friends and loved ones in-person. Incase you are staying away from your family, plan out a time in a day.

Due to COVID-19 situation, since March 2020, employees are working from home. They are spending 8-9 hours each day over phone and/or laptop. Engage more in-person with people physically near you during this time. Online engagement is not a problem but affects our daily life, mental health and work sometimes.


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