The massive lockdown had been seen throughout the planet due to novel corona-virus breakout. Some Countries had ordered lockdown for months, weeks but in India, it is for 21 days only. The second most populated country with a population of 1380000000 (138 Crore) by 2020. Approximately 35% of the population have smartphones in their pocket. The total smartphone users are 450 million as compared to 550 million feature phone in India.
Smartphone & Lockdown Life
Later the announcement of 21 days lockdown, internet service providers, movie streaming apps like youtube, Netflix, amazon prime, etc have reported that their servers are getting traffic beyond capacity. Now, they have done some technical changes to sustain the huge loads on servers. This reflects the usage of smartphones or gadgets in this lockdown. We all are exhausting our daily data limit within a few hours. It also exhausts our mind creating panic & anxiety of low data availability. we all had created the notion of nothing to do at home because of lockdown apart from using smartphones for 24 hours.
I know we all sailing on the same boat of sticking to the smartphone every second, minute and hours. We all are scrolling Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok or other social apps. If you keep aside the gadget, you will observe that nothing new is coming on your applications. You can say, it is an addiction like smokers & drinkers are passing from huge anxiety. We are overusing the phones affecting our daily routine. The patterns followed by new disturbing habits which may result in psychological disorders. Thus, the majority of smartphone users are less or more prone to such disorder or Phobia.
What is NOMOPHOBIA?
Do you know the term? NOMOPHOBIA or No Mobile Phone Phobia used to describe a psychological condition when people have a fear of being detached from mobile phone connectivity. OR fear of being without a mobile device, or beyond mobile phone contact. The term NOMOPHOBIA coined during a 2010 study by the UK Post Office. A research organization named YouGov had done a study on anxieties suffered by mobile phone users. The study found that 53 percent of mobile phone users in Britain tend to be anxious when they “lose their mobile phone, run out of battery or credit, or have no network coverage.”
The study found that 58 % of men and 47 % of women suffer from phobia, and an extra 9% feel stressed when their mobile phones are off. The study sampled 2,163 people and 55% of those surveyed cited keeping in touch with friends or family as the main reason that they got anxious when they could not use their mobile phones.
Nomophobia Causes & effects
In India, there is no limit to mobile phone use. Single people can use many phones. It is adding fuel to the pre-existing problem of NOMOPHOBIA. There should be a least upper limit of age for mobile use. It will help a lot to curb the situation. Even there is no such kind of research or studies take place so we have to stay in the real world more than virtual world. We have to re-establish the human-human interactions, face to face connections. we need to limit our use of mobile phones rather than banning them because we cannot escape the force of technological advancement.
One needs to understand the various psychological factors which involve when a person overuses the mobile phone like low self-esteem, extrovert personality. The burden of this problem is now increasing globally. Other mental disorders like social phobia or social anxiety and panic disorder may also cause Nomophobia. Even NOMOPHOBIA can also act as a proxy to other disorders. Even, it is very difficult to differentiate whether the person becomes NOMOPHOBIC due to mobile phone addiction or existing anxiety disorders manifest as NOMOPHOBIC symptoms
Most Common signs of smartphone addiction include:
3. Social isolation
4. Nervous breakdown
5. Weight changes (both loss and gain)
Nomophobia, a Rising Trend in Youth
Nomophobia is a Rising Trend in youth. Have you thought about how long you can go without checking your cell phone? The problem is that they have become so dependent on their smartphones that they are missing the world around them. So-called smartphone monsters are now walking during class or office breaks and at home. And even if we are having fun, then the fun has to captured via photo, video or text message. The other habits of watching many YouTube videos, playing computer games and reading online also can lead to Internet Addiction Disorder.
BALANCE Approach & SOLUTIONS to Nomophobia
It’s time to take a break.
We feel exhausted & want to scream for no reason but we can” not because we are not able to recognize the situation or we don’t want to or we are avoiding it. Whenever I find myself needing something to cope with, I always check myself and observe the scenario. This may sound crazy, but my thumb rule is that I don’t allow myself to be brought under the control of anything. Other than the food, water, and shelter, I guard myself against any addiction that begins to dominate my behavior. This includes technology. I recognize that SmartPhones, tablets, computers and other technology introduced in the future will make my life easier and enable me to work more efficiently. I believe that technology should be a servant, not a master.
Most importantly recognition and acceptance are important to guard yourself against any kind of addiction/Phobia/Disorder. One can adopt a balanced approach to tackle it:-
- Be sure there are daily times you turn off the SmartPhones and experience either face-to-face conversations or solitude.
- Balance screen time and in-person time each week. For every hour you invest in front of a screen, you invest in human contact.
- Try a technology fast every month, where you actually go for a day or more without a computer, tablet or phone. You’ll feel liberated. Once A week
- Place your phone at least 15 feet away from you when you sleep at night. I realize you’ll have to get up to push “snooze,” but it’s safer this way.
- Block your day in time zones, where you spend time using technology, but also have blocks of time for organic, genuine interaction with people.
- Parents should motivate their children to take part in outdoor games, religious festivals. It will give them more chance of face to face interaction.
- Parents must have an awareness of such psychological problems like NOMOPHOBIA. The School authorities should appoint counselors and health team personnel for education purpose
- ·Youngsters’ energy needs to channelize them in a creative way. Mechanisms may be devised to engage them in physical activities, outings, social interaction, etc.
- To Create special no-phone zones and Disallow smartphone use in the kitchen, bedroom or dining room.
- Set special times for smartphone usage and prepare yourself for the same.
- Reclaim family time, No smartphones at the table should be the rule. And this includes silent mode and “I am going to check it real quick.” Family dinners, birthdays and general family holidays should be smartphone-free. If this is too much to ask, you can allow several pictures and videos during the event.
- No driving and texting This should be obligatory.
- Extreme case or you are unable to help out yourself from the situation. Refer to therapy, it can be a counselor/ Psychologist or mental Health Practitioner.
Therefore, mental health or mental Hygiene is the most important in all course of your life. One needs to adopt a balanced approach with regard to the existence of technology in our life. It is important in nature but not necessary.
If you are feeling low, stressed or unable to tackle the disturbances due to lockdown. Then, you can reach our Rishikesh 24 team for online or telephonic counseling. Kindly book your slots in advance via email at email@example.com / Rishikesh24@AOL.com or Whatsapp. We are available at SKYPE & Zoom App for Video Counseling on appointments basis.
Author:- Mr. Ankitt Rawall, 27 Y.O is an aspirant of clinical psychology with a keen interest in mental hygiene. He believes in awareness of mental health importance among all age groups and promoting the importance of a psychologist/Counsellor or mental Health Practitioner.