Nomophobia Anyone?

Phone ObsessionDo you suffer from nomophobia? If you can reach out and touch your phone right now, you most likely suffer from “the disease of the XXI century”— the irrational fear of being without your cell phone.

Studies have shown that 66% of the population across the world has nomophobia. Symptoms include feelings of panic or desperation when separated from your smartphone, not being able to focus on conversations or work, and constantly checking phones for notifications.

If you don’t believe it’s true, think about all of the places you go on a daily basis. Now, think of how long you can go without seeing people on their cellphone.

Imagine yourself walking through the mall on a busy weekend: what do you see in front of you?  If you aren’t on your phone yourself, you see more than ¾ of the people around you who are glued to their phone, barely paying attention to where they are walking.

Now think about when you are out at the movies with your friends/family. Do you actually watch the entire movie, or are you still checking your phone because it is natural to you to do so?

If any of these examples apply to you, don’t feel bad; you are not alone. Our phones are like our shield from the outside world, shielding us from our insecurities and loneliness.

Although teens and adults both suffer from nomophobia, teens seem to suffer more. Although many adults readily offer that they do not suffer from nomophobia, in fact, too many do.

Those few adults who are not attached to their cell phones still know that we are in an age of cell phone mania. When asking HHS math teacher Mr. Douglas Merkler of how much importance his cellphone serves, he responded, “The only time I use my phone is for emergencies. If I were to leave my phone at home, I would just ask one of the students for their phone because I know they always have it on them.”

There is one thing for sure: being alone is crucial. However, most nomophobes are rarely truly “alone.” In fact, more than one in two nomophobes never switch off their mobile phones.

Everyone needs time to themselves to relax, think and just have a second to breathe. Due to our constant use of our cellular devices, we are never alone.

According to HHS English teacher, Mrs. Sandra DeRose, cell phones have robbed us of our solitary time. “One of my concerns involving teenagers and phone obsession is this: I worry that young people today don’t know what it feels like to be alone. They are always connected, and therefore do not allow themselves moments of self-contemplation. Self-contemplation helps us with our own identity; without it, we run the risk of losing sight of who we are,” said DeRose.

Our lack of attention for anything other than our cellphones is also causing trouble within our relationships. Say you go out on a date with your significant other: chances are you’ll be on your phone half of the time. This leads to a lack of attention which leads to jealousy, hurt, etc. Relationships require love, trust, and attention, and they are beginning to suffer more and more due to nomophobia.

Too often we lose sight of what’s really important and as a result, the major aspects of our lives are affected. It’s as if everything and everyone around us is a second priority. At this point in time, separating ourselves from our phone would be nearly impossible. We can, however, only hope that the generations after us will learn to be non-dependent of cellphones, and learn how to deal with situations the healthy way as we once used to.

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