Nomophobia; Fear of living without your cellphone

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  • February 10, 2021
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An average person spends 4 hours each day using their cellphone. That’s 28 hours a week. Imagine losing over a day’s worth of time in just a week. Our lives basically come down to living only 6 days a week. That’s an insane amount of unproductive & unhealthy loss of several hours that could’ve gained us so much. In 28 hours, we could visit a new place, we could catch up with long friends, we could even earn some money working 4 hours a day. Yet, we choose to be unproductive and remain idle for 17% of our everyday life. Why? All people hate not having their phones. But some not only hate it but actually fear it. They fear that they will miss out on something if they don’t check their phones every few hours, or even minutes. They’re scared of a prospect that someone else is having fun with a group of friends, and you wouldn’t even know because you didn’t check their message. We have all had this thought multiple times and there’s a word for it – “FOMO” i.e “Fear of Missing Out”. One thing you should realize is that you might actually be missing out on a lot more things while using your phones, compared to when you’re not using your phones. You just don’t know because you’re not out there and there’s no one to upload it on the internet where you could’ve seen it.

Nomophobia is the fear of being away from your cell phones. This phobia only exists in people who are already addicted to their phones. Nomophobia doesn’t just arise from being physically away from your phones but also being anxious about low battery levels or being out of service. No matter whether it’s a simple fear of missing out or battery being low or having no service, people with Nomophobia tend to show symptoms of extreme anxiety and become highly panicked for a period of time. Generally, they tend to stop being anxious when they come to a realization that they are powerless and can do nothing about it. Their anxiety also goes away once the problem has been fixed.

Nomophobia is more common than people realize. Millions of people have this, and it has affected them adversely. Attention spans of children are substantially reduced due to excessive use of cellphones. They are also less athletic and prone to mental health issues. We all have seen kids with glasses who also don’t appear to be in great health. It’s possible that there are other reasons why the kids have glasses or why they’re unfit but relatively speaking, the chances of it stemming from excessive exposure to cellphones is high. This is also a form of Nomophobia.

Adults have a few different circumstances when analyzing their phobia. They aren’t necessarily at fault for having this fear. It’s possible that they highly depend on their phones to make a living and not being near phones might mean missing an important call and losing their jobs. This is a valid fear, and we can’t blame them for it. Even on holidays when they could rest easy, they seem to have a mindset that they must be ready to pick up their boss’ call which is very unfortunate.

Adults should be careful that youngsters around them are kept from being addicted to phones so that this addiction doesn’t evolve into a phobia. What started out as an innocent pastime for a kid can turn out to be the cause of crippling depression, stress, and anxiety in the future, which are all common effects that cellphone usage has had on young adults. Battling Nomophobia is a mentally draining task, but anyone can get over it with sheer willpower. You can find a hobby, a job, or a more important responsibility that forces you to spend less time on your phones.

Quitting the habit of phone overuse and dealing with Nomophobia come with difficulties. But once you get over your fear, living a life with very little cellphone usage is extremely rewarding. You get your work done more efficiently, your approach to life becomes more practical, you become creative, you will gain a tremendous boost in self-confidence, stress levels go down, you get to sleep much better, attention span increases, boredom decreases, you will want to exercise more, you will be capable of making better decisions, others’ opinions on you won’t matter anymore, you argue less, you become emotionally intelligent and most importantly you will start making better face-to-face conversations with people. Try and get rid of this destructive habit and this fear. Good luck.

 

 Article Credit: Bidhan Gautam

Gautam is an undergraduate student of Bachelor in Business Management studying at Shanker Dev Campus, affiliated to Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu.

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Any views expressed in this publication are those of the authors. Any legal information on this topic is intended to give a positive message to the people, and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice. Any contributions from, or references to, external sources (including website links), people’s views, or individuals do not necessarily reflect the views of Lattice Nepal nor receive our endorsement.

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