You might be asking, "What in the world is nomophobia?". I did too. But when I found out what it was, I realised I may have it. We know a 'phobia' is a fear of something which can cause anxiety and stress. Usually, the amount of stress or anxiety doesn't correspond to the level of danger that actually exists - and so it is ultimately irrational.
But Nomo … what is nomo? Nomo is an abbreviation for “no mobile phone”. The term was created after a study four years ago found that 53% of mobile phone users in Britain tended to be anxious when they “lost their mobile phone, ran out of battery or no longer had network coverage.” So nomophobia is the fear of being out of contact with your mobile phone! Stop now and think … what if you lost your phone? Did that just cause you panic?
How you know you've got nomophobia
- have an inability to turn off your phone?
- take your phone to the bathroom (full disclosure – I do)?
- obsessively check emails, texts, Facebook, Twitter, etc.?
Technological advances are certainly great but with studies showing that we check our phones on average 34 times a day, maybe we have gone a bit too far. Just Google nomophobia and see all the news. A recent article in New York Daily News describes the issue, interviews a subject, and shows a nomophobia assessment. What is most shocking however is a statement made by one of the people who has this fear:
“I feel like the virtual world is more real. That’s the world I want to engage in. I can’t even imagine only checking my phone once an hour. I just feel like that’s my whole universe.”
Check your technology use
Have you become obsessive about checking your phone? Do you sometimes feel that the virtual universe is more real than the actual universe? If that sounds like you, here's a few suggestions:
- Check yourself and limit your own time on the phone.
- Question what is having the greater influence on your life: technology or Jesus?
- If you are becoming isolated, withdrawn and depress, you may need to seek professional medical help.
It may seem silly, but we have to honestly ask these questions regularly and check the influence our technology has over our lives. One day, you may look back on your youth and wish you had spent more time with God, family and friends. You will never look back and wish you spent more time on your phone.
Written by Drew Read.
Published with permission by the Paul Anderson Youth Home