What is Nomophobia? or the fear of being separated from your mobile

What is Nomophobia? or the fear of being separated from your mobile

For some people, not having access to their cell can create strong anxiety situations: this pathology must be treated by a psychologist.

The mobile phone is, today, one of the tools of the new technologies of information and communication (NTIC) the most used in the world. Did you know that the number of cell phones exceeds the number of inhabitants in the world? There are more than 7 billion mobile lines on the 5 continents!

If the evolution of use is not identical for all countries, this is true in the case of France: in 2012, cell lines reached 62,280,000 users, out of the 65 million inhabitants that France has. But this trend is even stronger in Spain, with 55 million mobile lines, almost 9 million more than inhabitants!

In view of these figures, it does not seem unreasonable to think that a significant number of users may become real cell phone addicts.

The profile of the people concerned

This pathology, if it is not to be neglected in adulthood, particularly affects young people from 18 to 35 years old. Nomophobia (whose name comes from no-mobile phobia Nomophobia) is the experience of an irrational fear of not being able to use one's mobile for several reasons: lack of credit, battery, forgetting the cell at home, no network coverage... Several studies have shown that 77% of 18-24 year olds and 68% of 25-34 year olds suffer from Nomophobia.

The profile of these people would be quite defined: rather introverted, they would present deficiencies when it comes to interacting with his peers, and prefer to communicate via their mobile and occupy their free time in this way.

Studies have also pointed to the fact that having a technologically advanced phone and knowledge in this field leads users to think that they have a special status through their activity on chat rooms or social networks. If nomophobia appeared with the first cell phones, it has increased with the development of smartphones, which offer an unlimited connection with the whole world.

Moreover, a study conducted in 2008 in the United Kingdom revealed that 55% of respondents said they were anxious without their phone because they wanted to keep in touch with their family, while 10% needed to be constantly reachable for their work. It also showed that the stress felt by nomophobia affected individual can in some cases be comparable to that felt on the day of one's wedding or during a dental appointment.

This explosion of nomophobia is mainly due to social networks...

There are 2 obsessive categories of Nomophobia :

Those who have the need to expose to the world their daily life, to prove and prove to themselves that their life is superb because they have a thirst for recognition, to be loved and live through the eyes of others: it is an existential need to have self-confidence and self-esteem.

And those "voyeuristic" who are in the permanent need to see what others live by comparing themselves or by fantasizing their lives that seem so perfect...

The most dangerous is for teenagers because they are in the process of constructing their identity and, by referring to the "fake" (between the retouched photos and the fact of exposing only the beautiful moments) develop a belief that their own life is not interesting, complex about their physical appearance and lose confidence in them idolizing utopian lives.

Recognizing the signs of nomophobia

To detect nomophobia as early as possible and start a proper treatment with a therapist, it is important to pay attention to the symptoms:

The user has difficulty detaching from their mobile, does not pay attention to what is going on around them, or gets angry if someone tries to restrict access to their phone, even if the situation warrants it.

The person does not pay attention to what is being said, but only to what is being said on his phone: those around him are forced to repeat his sentences several times.

The use of the cell phone is abused, even in the presence of other people, the person does not look up from his screen when walking in the street or talking with someone, and finds no other alternative than his phone to occupy his free time.

Our advice for getting rid of nomophobia

Parents and adults play a key role in this learning process, as children imitate their behavior and find a playful interest in using the phone. It is recommended to establish a kind of roadmap that clearly specifies the situations in which the use of a cell phone is prohibited, such as during meals, with the family, when doing activities with other people, or that suggests turning off or moving the phone away at night.

Here are our recommendations to help you disconnect:

Turn off your phone at night: the best option during the night is still to turn off your phone so that you are not disturbed by new notifications and updates on your mobile. This is also a way to disconnect, and most likely, improve the quality of your sleep.

Leave your phone in another room: during the day, you can start to distance yourself from your mobile. On many occasions, and without realizing it, our addiction to the phone goes far. For example, if you go to the kitchen to prepare food, leave your phone in another room, or if you go to the shower, you don't need to take your phone there. This is a simple and seemingly unimportant way to start healing from the toxic relationship.

Eliminate applications that you don't need: we use our cell phone many times without any reason, simply by opening or closing applications without actually doing anything special. Uninstall all the applications that you no longer use and that use up your time without realizing it. Keep only the applications that have a real use, like your email.

Go out from time to time without your phone: it's true that few of us go out without our phone, at least for a whole day. But if you're going to run some errands or go out for a short time, don't take your phone with you, you don't need it, you'll be back in a few minutes.

Gradually decrease your time of use: try not to use your phone for a certain period of time, and you lengthen this time as you go along. For example, you may not look at your phone for 30 minutes if it is not necessary. You then gradually increase this technological detox time to 1 or 2 hours...

Limit your hours: in addition to the different breaks we have suggested so far, set yourself a time each day to use your phone. For example, don't use the phone after 11:00 p.m. to relax and disconnect before going to sleep, or during your lunch break.

Seek professional help: If you can't seem to get away from your phone, a psychological professional can help you. This is an anxiety disorder caused by a smartphone addiction.

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