Are We Addicted to Our Mobile Phones?
Have you left the house without your mobile phone – only to be a wreck until you were reunited with it later on? I have a deep seated fear of losing my phone, or being apart from it. I always joke about it, but apparently I’m not alone, and there’s a name for it: Nomophobia.
Nomophobia gets its name from No Mobile Phobia. SecurEnvoy recently conducted a study and found that 67% of those participating were afraid of being without or losing their mobile phones, up from 53% four years ago. Women are more afraid than men to be without their device (70% vs. 61%), and younger users have the most issues (18-24 year olds).
Sounds serious, doesn’t it? Like there should be treatment protocols? Actually there are…but I’m not how effective they would be. Most seem to revolve around trying to do certain activities without taking your phone along, and taking deep cleansing breaths. I’m not sure it is that practical to go without a device that has become so engrained in most of our lives.
Let’s think about this: is it really imperative that we try to wean ourselves off our mobile phones? I have two children in school and if they are sick, the school needs to get in touch with me immediately. When I’m out for the evening, the sitter needs to be able to reach me at all times. If I’m on the road and have car trouble, I’ve got my mobile phone to call for assistance. I need to check work e-mails on the run, and take calls from my mobile office. Landlines are becoming a thing of the past – I haven’t had one for more than three years, and I don’t miss it at all. My mobile is my main connection to the world.
Perhaps our “addiction” really only gets out of control when we exercise bad manners while using our mobile phones, say, talking on it in the middle of a nice restaurant, talking too loudly anywhere and disturbing all those around you, or ignoring all things around you because you are so absorbed in your phone. Or Facebooking during the PTA meeting (oops). As long as you are able to take a step back when you find yourself being rude with your mobile phone, you’ll probably be able to forgo the therapy.
Do you panic if you are without your mobile phone?