How many times do I check my phone? Is this question constantly popping up in your head? I guess I am right because it is knowingly or unknowingly the question of our generation. Do you know the number of minutes you use your phone or is it several hours like most of us? We often pick our phones to do a task and an hour or two later, we realise that we have completely forgotten the task and have ended up using our phones.
To some of us, losing our phones is much scarier than losing anything else. There are also people among us who aren’t able to keep our phones down the entire day. This is not just limited to not keeping the phone down, but rather people depriving yourselves with things that your body needs.
Most of us spend our entire day using our phone, without even realising we are giving rise to another addiction. Nomophobia is a serious time-consuming problem of the future and the present. Some of us are already afraid to lose their phone, some of us who suffer from Nomophobia.
The “No Mobile Phobia” is the fear or anxiety of not having a working phone. This can mainly be considered an impact of social media or the digital world on a person’s mental problems. The brain works in such a manner that if it is addicted to a certain thing, then the addiction is not easy to get rid of.
Digitalization shows us our advancements in technology, but it has also made us more clumsy and lazy to do our tasks. We prefer getting everything done on our phones, and this surely has made our lives easy, but it has also made our lives way much oriented towards technology.
The thing is that most of us are dependent on technology, we have our laptops and computers open to working on them. The mobilisation process has led all the tasks of laptops and computers to be done on our mobile phones. This has also added up the time we spend staring at the screens. But all of us know it is not just that. Let’s have a look at the factors affecting the addiction to mobile phones.
Factors affecting the addiction to mobile phones or Nomophobia:
- Social media is the major reason for the addiction to phones.
- Digitalization has made everything remotely available. Why would someone want to leave their couch when they can get their work done on their phones. This often also leads to addiction to online shopping.
- Dependency on tech to work has also contributed to it.
- Denial! In several surveys, people who have Nomophobia entirely denied it’s existence.
If taken into consideration, it is a serious problem, as none of us wants to see our dear ones consumed by mobile phones. It is one of the worst addictions which doesn’t include narcotics. The constant use of screen has left us ignoring the tasks that are more important to be carried forward, but they also have a mental toll. Mobile phones are a cause of self-doubt, low confidence and many other mental problems.
Although it doesn’t come suddenly, Nomophobia crawls into a person and without giving them much sign makes a home in their body.
The signs of addiction to phone or symptoms of Nomophobia
Even though we deny the addiction to mobile phones most of the time, some studies show the symptoms people show. Some of these symptoms are as follows:
- Many people believe that they need to check them to achieve something they do not own constantly.
- People spend time on their mobile phones, not knowing about their hours scrolling Instagram and youtube.
- The only thing most of us have these days is our phones. So most of us turn to our mobile phones in times of depression or anxiety.
- All of us crave for the latest technology or the latest mobile phones with more features. This leads us to use our phones for further more tasks and makes us use them even more.
- Mobile games are an increasing sensation. Games like PUBG or among us are trending, and people spend hours playing these games. This makes them distracted from the work that matters and leaves them addicted to the game or their phones.
- There are various other symptoms such as anger, irritation, depression, tension and restlessness.
If we do not conclude the list here, it would never stop, because everyone knows the benefits of mobile phones and know its harmful effects if overused. The overusing of mobile phones has harmful effects on mental health, but our physical health has a toll on it.
Effects of Nomophobia on physical health
Have you ever experienced sudden headaches or pain in your eyes? Maybe the watering of eyes? Yep, all of those are the effects of your cell phones. Even though the technology is evolving with time, we still cannot protect ourselves with the present technology. Many other effects must be considered before giving your phones excessive time; some of them are as follows:
- The strain in your eyes: it is the time when your eyes begin to burn, and the vision starts to turn blurry. It occurs due to the use of mobile phones for over two hours. This can lead to problems like headaches and can be quite fatal at the time.
- The pain in your neck is known to occur because of your constant staring at your screen phones. The posture you keep your neck while using your phone, i.e. downwards.
- Increased illness due to germs: many people are not hygienic, and it is found that the screen of mobile phones contain the number of germs equal to that is present on a toilet seat. This leads the germs to reach us by the way and can cause many illnesses such as fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, infections and many other diseases.
- Road accidents: Many people are overconfident of their driving skills and believe they can multi-task at everything. So the best place they find to use their mobile phones is while driving, and all of us know what that finally leads to, a fatal, life-threatening accident or death.
- Fertility in males: Yes, you read it right, the sperm count is decreased due to the radiation a mobile phone emits. These radiations also lead to a decrease in sperm motility and viability.
- Obesity: It is a major output of excessive use of mobile phones, it is so because phones make us lazy and do most of the work remotely. This makes us eating more and working less, which is a prime source of obesity.
There are actually many physical problems connected by a string to excessive use of mobile phones. There are not only mental and physical problems, but our phones lead us to a number of psychological problems as well.
Nomophobia and Psychological problems
Lack of sleep, constantly revolving thoughts, depressions, OCDs, relationship problems, etc., can be termed as major psychological problems. These develop over time and can’t be ignored in a person’s life. Some of these problems can be explained as:
- Sleep disorders: Excessive use of cell phones is often termed with sleep deprivation. It is so because most of us after a busy day’s work find time to use our phones only during bedtime, and once we start scrolling, we lose track of time. This leads to sleep deprivation.
- Depression: it is hard to interpret, but it is considered a sad feeling that tends to interfere in people’s daily activities. With everything moving on mobile phones it has led to our dependency on mobile phones. Some of us don’t even have friends outside our screens, which makes us even more lonely and depressed.
- Relationship problems: The couples are modernized these days and prefer spending most of the time in their phones. Offline relationships suffer due to this issue and should focus on the person sitting on the table right in front of them than rather texting someone miles apart.
- Anxiety: It is observed that school or college students who are addicted or mostly dependent on their phones are found o handle anxiety much worse than those who are not addicted.
Psychological problems have a huge toll on us and can never be ignored. Our brain makes us a functional and thinkable creature, and when we are anxious or depressed, it never works at it’s known capacities, which can prove to be quite fatal at times.
Do a check of Nomophobia on yourself!
These are a couple of things that can answer the question that might have popped up in your head by now. Am I suffering Nomophobia? Well, let’s find out!
- Do you spend more time on your phone than you need to?
- Do you just stare at your phone screens not doing anything? Or just stare at your phone even when you have a lot of other productive things to do?
- You lose track of time while using your phone?
- Talking to real-time people is much less than the chats and tweets?
- Is the amount of time you spend on your phone has increased?
- Is your phone kept near your bed or under your pillow while you’re asleep?
- Do you find yourself replying to texts and emails even when you are supposed to work on other things?
- Does your using phone decrease your productivity?
- Do you find yourself checking your phone the entire day even when you know there aren’t going to be any texts or anything to do?
Nomophobia is a modern problem, and if your answer to the majority of the questions listed above is YES, you need to be worried. These are Nomophobia symptoms and, if possible, then try everything in your capacity to maintain the answer to these questions a NO.
Effect of phones on books
In the digitalised world, most of us are losing the essence of books. Books are a major part of our learning and enjoyment, but the modern world of books is losing its essence. Most of us have access to freely or cheaply available pdf files that can be more remote and accessed from any device.
The digital books will never have the feel of a hardcopy. The smell of a paperback and the essence of paper will never be known by the people who prefer ebooks over the hard copies.
Digital books are also major contributors to Nomophobia as students have to be dependent on their mobile phones or their reading devices to study. When do you ask a reader what does he prefer an ebook or a paperback? His answer would always be a paperback, but ebooks’ low price has contributed to their popularity.
We need to overcome Nomophobia
Many of us are stuck in the cycle of getting up using the phone the entire day and then sleep again. This cycle needs to be broken, and it cannot be done in a single day. Id first recommends doing some exercises, which boots our metabolism and prevent you from feeling lazy. Then one should reduce their screen time in parts and occupy themselves with other tasks simultaneously.
You could start by learning something new or applying for a freelancing job; it can surely increase your productivity and also give you a chance to earn more. You could even work on a hobby you have not been able to find time for in a long time.
Nomophobia is something all of us suffer from in one way; what matters is how we cope with it and how we tackle things. Our aim should always be to evolve, and if your phone comes in your way to slow down that process, then do not hesitate to keep it on a shelf and complete your tasks. Because no matter how important it is, it is never more important than you.
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