If I told you not to look at your smartphone for the next two hours, would that be an issue? Two hours seem insignificant, right? But not being able to check your phone for messages, reply on WhatsApp, Google anything, call anyone, check your calendar or locate your way to a meeting, has the potential to leave us feeling anxious.
Smartphones have become so important in our everyday lives, that being disconnected from them even for a short period time can put people into a high state of anxiety. That feeling has a name… Nomophobia! It might seem ludicrous, but many of us can truly relate to feeling like something is missing when you have left your phone at home!
The reasons behind our smartphone separation anxiety have little to do with being unable to make or receive a call. The main reason is that smartphones are now so advanced and personal to us.
As well as storing meaningful photos and messages, smartphones act as a gateway to an enormous range of apps, websites, and services that let us quickly access content that is important to us. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter provide huge streams of photographs and comments from friends and relatives, acting as a vast and powerful scrapbook of our lives.
For many of us, posting about activities on social media has turned into a key part of our experience of an occasion and, in turn, the way we recall them. And being without a smartphone means you can’t be posting about your current actions! They play a key role in our overall identity by recording numerous personal memories that act as an expansion of ourselves.
Sounds dramatic right? But try leaving your smartphone at home and you will certainly experience some of the above characteristics.
Nomophobia could turn out to be considerably stronger in the future as we grow ever more reliant upon technology. Users’ attachment is inevitable with the recent smartphone and app development becoming increasingly personalised and customisable.
Nomophobia is not currently classified as a specific mental disorder. Nonetheless, smartphone attachment can cause significant effects to our mental well-being. These devices help us stay connected and develop bonds, so we should not fear that it is going to be an addiction!