Batteries are dying, networks are disconnecting, cellphones are freezing all over the world & no one knows how to deal with it! In an age where having a WiFi-enabled phone is no longer a privilege but a necessity, a phobia called “Nomophobia” has been discovered. Nomophobia is the fear of not having a mobile phone & it has gripped many pre-teens & teenagers worldwide! The term, which stands for no-mobile-phone-phobia, according to Wikipedia was coined during a YouGov survey in the UK 5 years ago.
According to the YouGov survey, where 2163 people were sampled & questioned about their mobile phones, it was found that more than 53% of mobile phone users suffered from anxiety when they lost sight of their phone, their battery went flat, when they lost their network signal or if simply lost their phones. The study indicated that that the anxiety level induced by the average case of Nomophobia is on par with wedding day jitters or a trip to the dentist.
Based on the same study, AllAboutCounciling.com proposes that the some severe symptoms of Nomophobia are consistent with the symptoms of anxiety disorders such as OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). From light symptoms like that churning feeling in your stomach when you lose sight of your phone and obsessively checking that you have your phone on you at all times even though you are in a safe environment; to more severe physical side effects like shortness of breath, dizziness, trembling, sweating, accelerated heart rate, chest pain and nausea, nomophobia could cause a full on panic attack!
Here are 7 simple questions you can test yourself with to see if you have Nomophobia:
1. Do you sleep with your phone?
2. Is your phone the last thing you grab before you sleep & the first after you wake up?
3. Do you become anxious when you misplace your phone?
4. Do you take your phone when you go to the bathroom?
5. Do you keep 2 phones?
6. Does your mood decline when your battery is flat?
7. Do you NOT turn off your phone at places at which you are meant to? i.e. Hospitals, During Flights etc.
If you answered Yes to at least 4 of these 7 questions than you probably have a fear of being disconnected & could suffer from a mild form of Nomophobia. If untreated it could have severe physical side effects & you might end up having to take medication for being afraid of being without your phone. So to avoid this, every once in a while just turn off your phone for an hour or two and go outside and talk to a friend or colleague because who wants to go to counselling for something like nomophobia? Therapists expect you to turn your phone off during sessions too, you know.
By: Thapelo Mosiuoa