Do you feel anxious when you don’t have your phone with you? Then you may be plagued by nomophobia. In France, according to INSEE, more than 9 out of 10 people (95% of those over 15) own a mobile phone. SMS, emails, music, social networks, photos, films and series, weather, GPS, online games… On average We consult it 221 times a day. If the appearance of this tool in everyday life has brought many benefits, it also raises some problems.
What is nomophobia?
The term “nomophobia” comes from the contraction of the English “no mobile phobia”. It means, as the name suggests, Afraid of not having your phone to hand. Its use has been democratized since the publication of a study conducted by YouGov 2008 for the British Postaccording to which 53% of smartphone users have done so Anxiety symptoms of loss, poor network coverage or low battery. And according to a study commissioned by Bouygues Telecom In 2018, 62% of French people couldn’t go a day without their phone. Nomophobia translates to a panic fear of imagining:
- Lose or forget your phone ;
- break his phone;
- having his phone stolen;
- from battery empty ;
- from don’t have an internet network
- or not being able to use an application that seems essential at a certain point in time.
This disorder is not yet listed in the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), but is well considered a “disease” of the modern worldassociated with the development of social networks and virtual communication.
Who are the people most affected by nomophobia?
The first sufferers of nomophobia are young people and under 25 years old, but also some hyper-connected professionals. The first because nomophobia translates the underlying fear of being isolated from a group. The latter is more of a performance anxiety that forces them to be constantly available in the context of their work.
Search maybe more or less pronouncedbut several settings you can stick in your ear:
- Consult your smartphone as soon as you wake up and have Eyes constantly on his smartphone (on the street, in transport, in shops, in restaurants, etc.);
- turn your smartphone on and off every 5 minutes;
- scrollers without spending hours thinking about the proposals and withdrawing into yourself;
- feel the need to always have your phone with you to answer the phone, emails, messages;
- constantly listen to music, videos, podcasts or play online games via your smartphone;
- keeps calling those around you for anecdotes or just to talk;
- Feeling panicky when their laptop is no longer visible or the battery is draining quickly;
- recognize unpleasant tension in the thumb joint (Quervain tendinitis).
What Causes Phone Addiction?
The development of nomophobia is directly related to the growing reliance on information and the immediacy of interactionspreferred by social networks.
This phenomenon can also be linked to certain personality traits that are more receptive to the reward system. That anxious people inherently or subject to disturbances such as obsessive compulsive disorder also tend to become addicted to cellphones.
What are the different risks associated with using a smartphone?
Nomophobia can have multiple health effects, both physical and mental. Numerous studies conducted since 2008 highlight that 18-25 year olds are particularly likely to suffer from:
- social isolation ;
- digital burnout;
- intolerance of real-life frustrations;
- from ophthalmic migraine ;
- Sleep disorders;
- from musculoskeletal problems (hand, thumb, elbow, shoulder, cervical spine);
- a decrease in certain cognitive abilities such as memory, language, attention and concentration;
- but also from a decrease in self-esteem.
According to a study by Monash University (Australia) published in the journal. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health In 2020 it would even be nomophobia resulting in dangerous or even illegal behaviorhow to use your cell phone while driving. A total of 99.2% of participants in this study reported some form of nomophobia, or some level of fear of not having their smartphone with them. More than eight out of ten volunteers had mild to moderate levels of nomophobia, but no less than 13.2% of the sample suffered from severe nomophobia (Source 1). And the researchers conclude:
Our results provide evidence that fear of not having one’s cellphone can lead to problematic addictive, banned, or hazardous use, each of which can pose significant health risks such as overuse, antisocial use, or reckless and physical harm.
A life without a smartphone? Nowadays it seems hard to imagine. Fortunately, there can be no talk of drastic measures to restrict the use of his mobile phone. Several reflexes make it possible fool nomophobia.
Be aware of your emotions when looking at your phone
If we check over smartphone, which happens from several dozen to several hundred times a day, we rarely pay attention to what we are feeling, because we carry out this check mechanically. Still, focusing on the emotions you feel when you look at your phone can help raise awareness of what’s behind them: is it a necessity to fool boredom? Afraid of loneliness? just a reflex? Do we feel better or worse when we check email or social media notifications? These are some questions that allow us to learn about the connection we have with technology.
Plan your time and set rules to avoid dependencies
Without realizing it, we can spend several minutes to several hours a day staring at our smartphone. So much time that makes us miss important family moments, that makes us overeat or lose efficiency. Researchers recommend itSet up a schedule for using the phone (by allowing yourself to only watch it once an hour, for example),Use controller applications (inward, AppDetox, checky…), who coach us, or to adhere to certain rules, for example those of Do not use our smartphone at the tableor let him out of the bedroom.
Charge your phone in another room
Whether you’re at work, with family, or just before bed, when your smartphone shows “Battery Low”, It’s easy and tempting to plug your phone into a nearby outletto keep it close. A good way to self-regulate and become aware of a potential addiction is to Force yourself to charge your phone in another roomOr at least within a few meters.
This simple piece of advice is even more important before bed, since the blue light from screens disrupts the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. Leave the smartphone out of the bedroom is therefore a good opportunity to regain this place keep it from negative waves, literally and figuratively, and to get rid of that state of over-stimulation of the mind that is hostile to restful sleep.
Some other tips to reduce the use of your laptop:
- Restrict notifications in your settings: Bids compete with bids to lure us into their nets. By choosing the banner style and the regularity of the notifications, you limit the temptation.
- Delete your social media apps and consult directly Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. from your smartphone browser
- Give yourself breaks without screens: if no imperative compels you, go shopping or for a walk with your hands in your pockets.
- In the evening at the restaurant, sharing a moment with your family or colleagues, Keep your phone in a pocket or bagnot on the table.
- Rely on your laptop’s “sleep mode”: before you go to sleep, switch to airplane mode and even better remove it so as not to be tempted to consult it at night.
- In order not to throw yourself on the laptop immediately after waking up, Invest in a real alarm clock. And while we’re at it, remember to check your watch, not your laptop’s home screen.
- Resist the urge to reach for your laptop in the morning. Take the time to wake up and get ready before you consult him. The most experienced can wait until they leave home or even get to work to disable airplane mode.
- Another tip: Diversification of sources of well-being such as sports, outings with family and friends, and engaging in activities such as yoga, relaxation, and meditation.