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Nomophobia

Article on Nomophobia by Saima Batool. Side effects of use of mobile devices and over use of internet. Health and mobile issues

77 percent of teens all over the world reported anxiety, worries and low self-esteem

By Saima Batool

New challenges are coming up on a daily basis with the change of technology and new type of phobias emerge that have been labelled broadly as technophobias. As the first mobile phone was introduced in the consumer market in 1983 and research was held by Shambare and Zhowa in 2012. They claimed that cell phones are possibly the biggest non drug addiction of the 21st century and that college students may spend more than 9 hours every day on their phones, which in many cases can lead to dependence on such technologies as a driver of modern life. It is a good example of the paradox of technology; that it can be both freeing and enslaving.

Research suggests that young adults and adolescents are more likely to suffer from nomophobia. According to multiple studies about 77 percent of teens all over the world reported anxiety, worries and low self-esteem when they were without their phones.

A research on behavioral change reported that the first thing 61 percent of people do after waking up in the morning is check their smartphones. Nomophobia occurs in situations when an individual experiences anxiety due to not having access to their mobile phone. Over connection syndrome and technostress are other terms used to describe an individual who will generally avoid face to face interactions and be more engaged in activities that render themselves to isolation, which can lead to other disorders such as depression and generalized anxiety disorder.

Clinical characteristics of nomophobia include a decrease in the number of face to face interaction with humans, dependency on using virtual and digital communication as a method of reducing stress usually to cope with social anxiety, sufferers have also expressed feelings of rejection, low self esteem, loneliness, panic, fear and many other emotional symptoms.

Treatment

Currently the treatment of this illness is very limited due to relatively its new concept, however the first possible treatment is awareness and a realistic approach to focus away from cell phone. Another solution is to use medication prescribed for anxiety by a professional therapist. It is very important to note that these medication were designed to treat social anxiety disorder not Nomophobia directly but may help alleviate some symptoms.

There are validated psychometric scale available to help in the diagnostic as well. Consultation with the specialist however, is the most important thing here.

Author of this article can be accessed at sbatool2011@gmail.com for feedback.

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