It is said that man is born with at least two fears.
Basophobia–the fear of falling
Phonophobia–the fear of big sounds.
Some add Xenophobia–the fear of strangers to the list as well.
Respected judges, teachers and friends,
A warm good morning to one and all.
As man grows up a lot more phobias get added to this list. In other words the list of phobias too keep growing. Today let me tell you about another phobia that has made it into the list of phobias in recent times.
Nomophobia or no mobile phone phobia is the irrational fear of being without your mobile phone or unable to use your mobile phone for a certain reason. Some people do not think it is a phobia because Nomophobia or NO MObile PHone Phobia is not strictly irrational. Running out of battery or being in a situation where signal is weak are real problems that need to be addressed.
At the same time Nomophobia raises a few questions. Let me try to answer some of them.
First of all, the question that is asked is, “Is Nomophobia a real thing?”
Well, it is real. Many people struggle with it. Surveys show that a large percentage of men and women, young and old are affected by this kind of anxiety disorder. But doctors today are looking into it seriously as Nomophobia can be considered a real problem affecting the mental health of users of digital media. It is reported that many do not even switch off their phone and feel stressed if at all their phones get switched off.
The second question is, “What is the impact of Nomophobia?”
Stress, anxiety, nervousness, depression, in extreme cases panic attacks; all these are related to Nomophobia. The fear that one will not be able to be connected to people can paralyze a few if not all. As people are depending on the mobile for practically everything; even simple things like remembering the phone numbers of close family members have become a lost art. In that sense, human memory and its capability seems also to be affected. Nomophobia can also be considered a non-drug addiction even.
The third and final question i want to raise is, “How can Nomophobia be reduced or overcome?”
Let me spell out a few techniques:
One, make it a point to spend quality time with your loved ones and friends and talk with them face to face. As you put human relationships and real life interaction with people a priority, your dependence on mobile phones will grow less and less. The point is engage in real human contact more and more.
Two, discipline your life as how you treat mobile phones. Set certain times to check your phone. Try to keep it at a distance when you are at home especially when you sleep at night. At least switch off your cell phone one hour before bed. Let mobile phones be your servant rather than you being its slave. The key word is discipline.
Three, set goals in life that are other-people focused. Why is this important? Mobile phones with social media sharing, selfies, and the craze after getting more likes for your posts have made people fall in love with themselves. This has made them addicted to cell phones. It is no secret that psychologists are employed by social media giants to get people more and more hooked to their chat platforms. But when you seek to empower others and help others achieve their dreams, you addiction to mobile phones might be reduced.
Let me repeat those three key words for you. Relationships, discipline, and goals that are other-people focused.
Now let me conclude.
As long as mobile phones and apps and social media are present in this world, Nomophobia will be on the increase. But like warning signals you find while you drive on the road, people are now being alerted to the overuse and misuse of mobile phones. If you are wise you will heed these warnings and find a meaningful life ahead. Let me end by saying mobile phones cannot be avoided but they can be better managed.
Jesus Christ of Nazareth