Do you sometimes feel anxious or uncomfortable when you don’t have your phone with you or when you don’t have access to Facebook or any social media?
If you do, then you might be suffering from Nomophobia.
This is defined as the feelings of discomfort or anxiety caused by the nonavailability of a mobile device enabling habitual virtual communication.
The word Nomophobia was first described in 2012 and then added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary last year.
A few research have been done in the relationship we have with our phones and its effects.
A recent study published in the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking journal says there are two types of people at risk of unhealthy relationship with their phones.
Those with high and low Nomophobic tendencies.
Those with high Nomophobia tend to perceive their phones as their extended selves and describe their feelings without the phones with words such as hurt, alone and want.
They also frequently suffer from phone-induced wrist and neck pain.
For those who face low Nomophobia, they describe their feelings without phones with words like uncomfortable and inefficient.
They are also more likely to complain of being distracted from work and studies.
Previous studies have also shown that Nomophobia can lead to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.
Although it isn’t seen as a major problem, scientists believe it could get worse especially when mobile technology continues to evolve and making people more anti-social.
Besides Nomophobia, there are other phone-related anxieties including FOMO – which means fear of missing out, and them FOBO – which means fear of being offline.
If you accept that you are suffering from Nomophobic tendencies, then you have accomplished the first step of overcoming the fears.
The next step is to try to stay disconnected for some time during the day.
And the next step is to turn off your phone and be without them for some periods each day.
These will help reduce the anxiety and feeling of dependence on your phone as an extension of yourself.
Watch this edition of Hi-Tech on The Morning Call with Ismail Akwei for more.