Do you suffer from Nomophobia – A fear or anxiety that comes from not being able to use your smart phone? Then maybe it’s time you had a digital detox? YouthSpin looks at simple tips to help reduce our obsession with our smart phones.
Nomophobia is a modern complaint. The word comes from ‘no mobile – phobia’ and refers to how people feel when they can’t use their mobile phone. If that sounds familiar, then try these simple questions
- Do you feel anxious and/or panicky when you don’t have your phone with you?
- How often do you check your phone for notifications? Is it every few minutes?
- Do you get phantom vibrations?
- Do you get worked up about running out of battery power or losing reception?
- Do you sleep with your phone under your pillow?
- Do you regularly lose track of conversations that happen in person because you are checking or thinking about your phone?
- Do your check your phone for notifications last thing at night, and first thing in the morning?
- If you left the house to do a simple message, but realised you had left your phone behind, would you have to return immediately and get it?
- Do you use your phone while using the bathroom, or during other ‘intimate’ moments?
If you can answer yes to all or most of these you might consider whether you are overly attached to your phone.It doesn’t mean you have ‘nomobphobia’, or have a big problem but it might suggest you use your phone a bit too much.
Experts are taking the idea of nomophobia seriously, with some researchers calling on psychologists to place it on their ‘Diognastic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders’.
All is not lost. If you have plenty of money then you can avail of one of the companies now offering ‘Digital Detox’ holidays.
If however, like most people that is not an option, then we have some simple tips can help reduce your need to have a phone
- Switch off your phone when you go to sleep – There is normally very little that is so urgent that it can’t wait till the next day. If there is an emergency, chances are there are other ways of getting in touch.
- Agree on ‘no-phone’ zones in your house. Choose places or times in the house where phone use is not allowed, such as the bathroom or kitchen table while eating meals.
- Switch phones off or leave them out of reach when with family or friends. Just put them in a different room
- Some people, when out for dinner or social event, make an agreement that all phones are placed in the centre of the table, and the first person to reach for the phone during the meal has to pay the bill
- Build time-out session into your day – 30 minutes without your phone. Build up to longer times or add extra time-outs.
- Use Apps that block social media notifications for particular times you need no distraction http://mashable.com/2012/01/03/block-internet-distractions-apps/
Technology is great. There are so many benefits and I love my phone, but sometimes it is a relief to be without it. So now I’m weaning myself away from my phone, to leave it at home and enjoy what I’m doing without distraction and to give the people I’m with my full attention. Give it a go, you might just find you enjoy it.