There are certain harmful health effects, which might be caused by the immoderate use of cell phones. Apart from cancer risk, mobile phones influence our nervous system. They may cause headaches, decreased attention, and shortness of temper, sleep disorders and depression, mostly among teenagers. However despite all these health and physiological concerns people have not realized this never ending use of mobile devices has become an epidemic globally and it has become an addiction.
How attached are you to your phone?
• “I regularly check my phone even if it does not ring.”
• “My phone is within easy reach at night.”
• “If I left my phone at home, I would be willing to return home for it.”
• “I’m nervous if I cannot be reached on the phone.”
If the statements above apply to you, the following may explain why. More people today experience a sense of anxiety on being separated from their phones, with approximately 60 percent of mobile phones users experiencing nomophobia, a combination of the words no, mobile, and phobia, meaning a fear of being parted from one’s phone.
Smartphone separation anxiety is set to become an increasingly widespread problem, researchers say. You’re probably familiar with the heightened pinch of panic associated with the realization that you’ve left the house without your phone. What you might not know is that Nomophobia is far deeper and more widespread than you might guess. So here’s how to know if you have nomophobia, and how to establish a healthier relationship with your phone if you do. According to research, 54 percent of smartphone users fear being without their phone (or being unable to use it, for instance if it runs out of battery or has no signal). And social media followers and blog readers of the Cambridge Dictionary identified so strongly with nomophobia, they voted it as the dictionary’s word of the year.
According to a professor of the City University of Hong Kong, Dr. Kim Ki Joon author of a study into phone separation anxiety, you share a closer bond with your phone than you might realize. “The findings of our study suggest that users perceive smartphones as their extended selves and get attached to the devices,” Dr. Kim said, “People experience feelings of anxiety and unpleasantness when separated from their phones.” This nomophobia is a result of the inescapable usage of phones in our daily lives. “We are talking about an internet-connected device that allows people to deal with lots of aspects of their lives,”
According to doctors, “You would have to surgically remove a phone from a teenager because their whole life is ingrained in this device.” There are, fortunately, ways to tackle nomophobia. If you suspect you might be addicted to your phone — if it’s the most important thing in your life or it’s compromising your personal or work life — it’s worth speaking to a psychologist, who might direct you to a specialist addiction service. But if it’s not quite as all-consuming as that? Then it is recommended to reduce your dependence on your phone by deliberately turning it off for periods of time, or leaving it at home when you go out. Doctors suggest that you attempt to balance the time you spend on your phone with time spent around other people — and don’t sleep with your phone in your bed. Tricky, without a doubt — but hopefully, it’s doable.
Here’s a few ways on how you can curb your phone addiction:
- Keep yourself on a schedule.
- Turn off as many push notifications as possible.
- Take distracting apps off your home screen.
- Kick your device out of bed.
- If you have a smart speaker, put it to use.
- Try turning on your phone’s grayscale.