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What is Nomophobia and Do You Have It?

Man with his Smartphone
Bernhard Lang/Getty Images

My smartphone quit working on Saturday afternoon for awhile and I immediately went into panic mode. I found myself thinking, my God, I don’t have phone right now! How am I going to get my email, surf the web, make a phone call, send a text message! Somebody get me a Prozac pronto! 

The sad thing, I’m old enough to remember a time long before smartphones, when there was no internet and a payphone was your best friend in an emergency.

After my phone came back to life, I Googled my symptoms and found out I might have Nomophobia.

What is Nomophobia you ask? It’s the fear of being without your phone and losing connection with the outside world. The good news, I’m not alone. 66% of the population suffers from Nomophobia. 

Here are a couple of the signs:

  • You start to panic if your cell phone isn’t nearby.
  • You keep an extra phone around, just in case your primary phone breaks. 

According to research there’s a variety of reasons people suffer from Nomophobia:

  • Their phone acts as a security blanket for them. It makes them feel safe knowing they can call for help should they need it.
  • Their phone helps relieve anxiety by allowing them to check for messages. That way they know they’re not missing something.

The good news, this condition is treatable. Start by putting down your phone and trying a few of these simple techniques:

  1. Turn off your phone for a certain amount of time each day. This will allow you some individual time or uninterrupted time with your family and friends.
  2. Don’t bring your phone to the dinner table.
  3. Turn off your phone when you go to movies or other functions.
  4. Don’t take your phone with you when you go to work out.

And finally, start by repeating after me:

My name is (insert your name), and I’m a Nomophobiac.  I promise not to keep my phone with me at all times anymore.”

Good luck!

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