Living in the Nomophobic world…

Ever heard of the term Nomophobia? It means the fear of being without one’s cell phone. From a time when phones were considered a luxury, to becoming a necessity; how did mobile phones become the brand new life threatening drug?

American Psychiatric Association states addiction as a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence. It simply means that addiction is nothing but the overuse of a substance that becomes habitual and difficult to stay without which may prove harmful or fatal in the long run.

We have come a long way from basic wireless mobile sets that only served the basic purpose of making and receiving calls. With the inclusion of texting, Bluetooth, camera, the development in the field of cellphones never looked back. And with the advent of the all-powerful internet, creeping slowly from our computer screens to our mobile phones, the whole world was sucked into this gadget saga. With the introduction of social networking sites, mobile companies have made sure that having a mobile phone can get one whatever they need in this world. From calling up clients to having video conferences across the globe, transfer of ideas and messages in the business world is done in a click. In such an age, life, especially business, seems impossible without a mobile phone, which with its frequency of need, has now become an addiction.

Entrepreneurs who want to maximize their market and be at par globally are hooked to their mobile phones 24/7 for either the important contacts, the constant video conferences or the constant business updates. Some even own more than one cell phone for work purposes.

How to check if you’re under its evil trap already? Here are some signs and symptoms of mobile addiction:

  • Constant need to check notifications to the extent of waking up to the mobile screen
  • Use mobile phone to substitute happiness
  • Has to give replies at the moment
  • Losing touch with reality
  • Has to have the phone in hand or nearby no matter the situation or place
  • Faces or has faced problems in job or relationships due to excessive mobile use
  • Is eager to get more features, apps and acquire the latest of them
  • Has serious anger, anxiety or depressive issues when phone or network is unavailable

Though we don’t understand its sinister effects on us right away, mobile addiction can give rise to a lot of problems in the long run like:

  • Withdrawal from family or social life
  • Isn’t aware of time
  • Believes that only information available on mobile phones are actual facts
  • Strained neck
  • Digital eye strain
  • No or lower level of tolerance
  • Lesser face to face conversations or eye contacts
  • Chances of developing brain cancer due to mobile radiations
  • Less concentration, fatigue, insomnia

Although it seems impossible to think of work without phones, here are few options that can help relieve the long term effects of the phone mania.

  • Customize notifications on smartphone: Not all message notifications require your valuable time. Set a different ringtone to your most important messages so that you know which one needs your attention, or mute all other unwanted messages or groups. This will help saving your time from going through all of those unimportant messages. Also instead of jumping to the occasion and replying to all the messages as soon as they arrive, schedule a fixed time to reply to all those messages.
  • Limit smartphone usage: determine a time limit to check your phone with long intervals and stick to it. For example, if you have decided to check your phone for five minutes in three hours, then stick to it. If anything important comes up, do the necessary work and take another three hours break from the phone. This will reduce unnecessary surfing over the phone and also the constant screen exposure to the eyes.
  • Turn phone off before going to bed: after a whole day of working hard, your body needs a well-deserved rest. Don’t let your phone takeaway those precious hours from you. Make it a point to either switch off or silence your phone so that no calls or texts can wake or disturb you.
  • Go retro: mobile phones have replaced almost everything. It’s time to bring them back. Every time you open your phone to check time, set an alarm or calculate, you’re more likely to end up browsing through unnecessary feeds. Use a watch, a classic alarm or a calculator instead.
  • Switch back to a feature phone: the best way to stay away from danger is to minimize the risk. Similarly, to avoid the attachment to a smartphone, it’s better to switch back to the good old basic set that has minimum features but serves the purpose. It helps in avoiding unnecessary browsing.
  • Far from you: Out of sight, out of mind. To refrain from unwanted checking your phone, it’s important that you place your phone away from yourself. The farther it is, the lesser you are prone to check on it again and again. It may be your workplace, or your bed.

Over dependence on anything is never good. So is the case with mobile phones. Use them, but don’t end up being used. Let Nomophobia be the last thing to bother you!

Written by Rimpa Sarkar

Add Comment