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Nomophobia (cell phone addiction)

It seems that the field of fears and anxieties is also advancing in line with today’s technological advances. how?

Today almost every person carries a cell phone with them. Children are connected to it from infancy, when parents play music through their smartphones, adults use it for communication with their children and in moments of distress, and everyone else uses it on a daily basis, as a way of interpersonal communication that breaks boundaries.

The device has become an integral part of us all

But how will we feel if our battery runs out before we plug it into a charger? Or God forbid we forget it on the morning of departure for work and connect with it only when we return?

Here is the place to define and explain the concept of “nomophobia”.

What is nomophobia?

Nomophobia is a post-modern anxiety that developed following our deep connection to the cell phone. The meaning of the term is fear of losing contact with the mobile phone, for any reason that may come to your mind, such as: forgetfulness, loss, theft, malfunction, depleted battery and so on. The term was coined in 2008 after a study done in the UK. Since then, the rate of people feeling stressed or anxious while parting from a mobile phone has steadily increased, so nowadays nomophobia is not an uncommon anxiety at all. Despite these findings, most psychologists do not see it as real anxiety that requires treatment, but as anxiety within the norm. Moreover, they claim that no one with nomophobia has come to treat it.

Why is it so difficult for us to disconnect from the cell phone? All the cell phone numbers of our acquaintances are in it, we keep a diary, reminders and a calendar, and use it for work and family and social communication. The device also combines applications and functions, which replace for us additional devices such as a computer or camera and even a TV. Many lead an entire life in it so disconnection is not simple and easy and there are extremists who feel, who have lost their lives without their smartphone.

Symptoms

So we are all connected to our mobile and our stress level rises at least slightly, if we found that the battery is on the verge of depletion for example, but when our condition is defined as nomophobia. Monophobia can be identified by familiar anxiety symptoms in the context of the cell phone:

  • Physiological  (physical ) symptoms :  accelerated pulse, increase in blood pressure, rapid breathing, excessive sweating, headaches and dizziness, tremors in the limbs, frequent urination and more.
  • Cognitive (mental ) symptoms :  Thoughts of a great disaster that has occurred and justifies a great fear, a desire to escape from the situation or find an escape route. Fear of death as a result of suffocation, existential anxiety.
  • Behavioral symptoms :  Avoidance of the anxiety factor – for example, take a charger everywhere, to prevent the battery from draining, stay close to the laptop so as not to lose or forget it, and more. This avoidance can upset the balance in a person’s life and affect his or her lifestyle.

Factors

The causes of nomophobia are an integral part of the postmodern world:

  • Technological advancement and sophistication of the mobile, which allows the use of many functions without the use of additional devices.
  • People with social anxiety may feel relieved when using a cell phone and conduct social relationships through it, which they find very difficult to do when meeting. Losing this media, increases their anxiety symptoms.
  • Development of cell phone dependency – using it as a diary, reminder manager, media tool, tools and more. All of these create a dependency and a deep connection between the owner of the device and his mobile and disconnection from it may disable him in terms of managing the agenda or work for example.
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