The first step for any addiction is to admit you have a problem. I don’t have a problem but in our household of two, someone seems to think I do so I’m about to dispel that belief.
Nomophobia is the fear of being without your mobile phone. The number of sufferers is on the rise which is not surprising as it no doubt correlates with smartphone uptake rather than a growing inability for otherwise ‘normal’ people to cope without it. And it does seem to be a completely rational fear, in my view, along with the fear of snakes and heights.
If you’ve ever lost your iPhone or left it behind when you’ve gone out, you will know that it is almost impossible to focus while you’re wondering how you’ll survive the next few hours alone. You probably don’t even know what you’re supposed to be doing or where you’re supposed to be without access to your calendar, voice memos, reminders, notes, alerts and notifications. And of course, you’re no longer up-to-date to the minute with everything that is going on in the microcosm world you now exist within thanks to your smartphone.
I recently went out without my iPhone and I stayed out unlike a nomophobe who would return home to retrieve their phone even if it meant being late for a meeting. And while it was an anxious time, it was more frightening (some might say ‘enlightening’) that in that four hour period not a single person – including husband, mother, sole sibling, nephews, life-long friends, colleagues or extended family – was looking for me. How could this be?
The warning signs for nomophobia for those of you who do have a problem include:
An inability to turn your phone off [Note: why do you even need to turn it off? It has a mute switch.]
Obsessively checking for emails, messages and notifications from social networks [Note: this is a fast-paced world; things can change in a second – you need to know when that happens.]
Constantly recharging your battery dreading that red low battery alert. [Note: no one wants to see that low battery alert – there’s a reason it is red (signifies danger).]
I hope this helps those of you with an addiction to your smartphone which you may need to address before it completely controls (ruins) your life.