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Nomophobia: The uncontrollable addiction suffered by mobile slaves

Saharay Perez Bautista
6 min read
Nomophobia: The uncontrollable addiction suffered by mobile slaves
Know everything about Nomophobia

It is no secret to anyone that technology has transformed all areas of daily life in an exponential way, especially due to the excessive use of mobile phones. Which has led to an addiction known as "Nomophobia".

According to official data, around 80% of young people in the world suffer from Nomophobia and this condition has also had a significant influence on adults. Being, basically, an irrational fear of staying without the mobile for a long period of time, either in your hands, in your pocket or near you.

For its part, the fact of suffering from Nomophobia causes people's health to be affected, due to the continuous use of said devices, as well as social networks and the Internet in general. However, there is an optimal treatment to combat this phobia and here you will find out what it is.

What is Nomophobia?

The term "Nomophobia" was born as an acronym for the English expression "no-mobile-phone-phobia" and was coined through a study carried out by the British Royal Mail post office.

This, in order to estimate the anxiety suffered by individuals when using mobile phones.

Thus, Nomophobia is defined as an absurd fear that many users feel when they do not have their mobile device nearby and cannot use it constantly.

In short, it is an extreme anxiety that originates once the person spends a period of time without using their mobile.

Although it is not considered a behavioral disorder as such, it is certainly the result of a worrying addiction to using the smartphone in an enormous way. Generally speaking, a nomophobic is recognized for the following:

  • Check your mobile constantly to see if you have new notifications.

  • You are waiting to locate a socket to recharge your phone's battery.

  • Steal hours of sleep to browse social networks.

  • He is not able to turn off the mobile at any time.

  • Choose not to go anywhere where there is no coverage.

Nomophobia: Causes or reasons

Nomophobia: The uncontrollable addiction suffered by mobile slaves
The causes of nomophobia

One of the most frequent causes of becoming nomophobic is being dependent on others.

Which is specified as a problem of self-esteem and the need for acceptance by the cybernetic environment. Therefore, insecurity is the most common factor that generates Nomophobia.

Another reason for this addiction to occur is the idea of perfectionism. Since, these types of people have a formidable need to do everything without making any mistake.

Added to this, many experts have come to the conclusion that this problem can occur due to four main elements that are : Inability to communicate with others, inability to access information and loss of connection to the network.

Who are more likely to experience Nomophobia?

So far, some relevant variables that can predict nomophobic behavior are specified, and they are:

  • Obsessive compulsive behavior.

  • Interpersonal sensitivity.

  • Bad life habits.

  • Unhealthy diets.

  • Sacrifice of hours of sleep.

  • Age (it is more recurrent in adolescents).

Nomophobia: Preeminent Symptoms

Nomophobia: The uncontrollable addiction suffered by mobile slaves
Signs and symptoms of a mobile addict

To recognize the appearance of this irrational fear, it is necessary to evaluate what are the signs and symptoms.

Although mental health experts have not yet decided on the official diagnostic criteria, the truth is that some indications have already been suggested that allow us to recognize the phobia.

That is why, below, we highlight which are the most preeminent symptoms of mobile addicts :

Emotional symptoms (due to not having a mobile phone nearby):

  • Anguish.

  • Despair.

  • Afraid.

  • Anxiety.

  • Stress.

  • Irritation.

  • Panic attacks.

  • Nervousness.

  • Obsessive compulsive thoughts and emotions.

  • Attention deficit to what is happening around them.

Physical symptoms (due to not having the mobile phone at hand):

  • Feeling of suffocation

  • Headache.

  • Stomach discomfort

  • Tachycardias

  • Increased sweating

  • Chest tightness.

  • Dizziness and / or tremors.

Nomophobia: Most effective treatment

Nomophobia: The uncontrollable addiction suffered by mobile slaves
Ideal treatment to improve nomophobia

One of the most used methods to treat mobile addicts is based on cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy because it has shown great effectiveness in improving this kind of disorder.

Thus, a brief therapy that includes structured sessions adapted to the specific objectives of each patient.

During these therapies, the main focus is on minimizing the time spent on the mobile phone during the day, through various distraction strategies that improve face-to-face relationships with others and invest time in healthier activities (such as playing sports).

In this way, therapy helps to increase the patient's ability to concentrate on his addictive behavior around the smartphone.

With this, you will be able to become aware of how much time you spend on your mobile device, for what reasons you do it and what you are not enjoying because of it.

Tips to prevent Nomophobia

Here are 7 very useful recommendations to avoid becoming a nomophobic user :

1) Specify what is a reasonable use of mobile phones, social networks and the Internet.

2) Prioritize the real world over the virtual world.

3) Turn off or deactivate the device during meetings with family or friends.

4) Reduce the loss of time and attention caused by the massive use of smartphones.

5) Optimize daily habits in a healthy way.

6) Recharge through hobbies, interests or vacations.

7) Learn to live in the present moment and put past stories or future projections aside.

Know what are the types of Nomophobia

Nomophobia: The uncontrollable addiction suffered by mobile slaves
Phobias associated with nomophobia

Although, officially, Nomophobia is not classified according to certain typologies; The truth is that there is a ranking of phobias that are associated with this type of addiction and affect more than 40% of users of devices with an Internet connection in the world. These fears are the following:

  • Whatsappitis : It is defined as a great dependence on the renowned instant messaging app. In most cases, the addiction lies in the groups in which several people participate who write messages throughout the day.

  • Phubbing : Most of all, it happens in crowded environments. This being the case, a phobia that is based on not paying attention to others for the simple fact of using the mobile phone all the time.

  • Telephonephobia : Basically, it is the fear of a person to answer a telephone call. Well, by nature, the ringing of the telephone intimidates him, thus causing him a social anxiety disorder.

  • Vibranxiety : Also known as the "phantom phone vibration". In this case, it consists of the need to feel or hear the vibration of the mobile device, even though it has not received any notification.

  • Selfitis : It is a mental disorder that refers to addiction to "selfies" or selfies. Which stems from a constant desire to take pictures of himself to share on social media. Generally, in order to fill a void in privacy or to compensate for low self-esteem.