Everywhere I go these days, I’m surrounded by Nomophobes. Whether it’s at a luncheon, a business presentation, or a casual dinner, these addicts are showing their disrespect and lack of social grace in record numbers. This addiction has swept the nation! It’s the fear of being without your cell phone.
Nomophobia is the abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia,” and it’s used to describe the anxiety we experience when we run out of the house without our phone, or we’re out of cell phone range, or the flight attendant says, “Turn off your mobile devices.” If you can relate, then you are a Nomophobe.
With all its virtues, today’s electronic age has brought with it requests that expect immediate replies, superficial relationships and distractions that can totally ruin our days, or worse, even kill us. We’ve become so dependent on our devices that, in one study, 94% of respondents felt panicked, desperate or sick when they’d misplaced their phones, compared to only 6% who felt relieved.
I did a little research, and found some staggering statistics. According to the respondents:
- 66% of the population suffers from Nomophobia.
- 66% of people sleep with their smart phones.
- 20% would rather go shoeless for a week than go without their phones.
- 11% of Americans with smart phones would rather leave home without their pants than their phones.
- 55% of women would rather leave home without makeup.
- 29% would rather leave home without cash.
- Men can go 9 hours without their phones; women only 7 hours.
- Average smart phone user checks email and texts on their phone 110 times a day.
- Social media has had a profound negative impact on self-esteem
Here is a crazy new form of “art” called a Slumpie to support your addiction! It’s the artist’s way of “make your ever-growing addiction to your smart phone all the more comfortable.” Really? Why not just get some exercise and enjoy some real art instead?
How long can you go without touching your cell phone? I must admit, I’ve been tied to mine way too much over recent years. But I’m making a conscious effort to leave it in my purse or in another room when I’m with family or friends, and I uninstalled Facebook, which was a big distraction.
Here’s a great article with a “5-step program” to conquer your cell phone addiction.
If you can’t live without your smart phone, I challenge you to go a day without it. Fill your free time with things you’re always saying you don’t have time to do. Unplug, renew relationships and refresh your mind. Be present with those you are with, whether in a meeting or an intimate dinner. Re-visit the “good old days,” when our current technology was only for the movies. Can’t go cold turkey? Take baby steps and ease into your newfound freedom. You might be surprised at all you’ve been missing!
Great post, Susan! It worries me how much people are attached to their cell phones. My parents live in a remote part of Australia and my phone doesn’t get reception there unless I organise a special SIM card for my visits – which I never do. I love being switched off and yet I’m still always surprised by the mental clarity and peace that comes with time away from the screen. And don’t even get me started on the lack of cell phone courtesy these days…I had a dinner guest recently who ordered recipe books between courses! They won’t be invited back. Esther xx
Esther, I am right there with you on the benefits of unplugging! It seems we have forgotten how to just “be” and enjoy life. Quiet time is refreshing! Too many consider it a waste of time. How rude of your guest to be engaged in online shopping during your dinner! Unfortunately, that’s more the norm than the exception these days. Cheers to finding peace and clarity through communing with nature!
Super post. I am guilty on all counts. Though the “no pants” statistic baffles me.
Here’s a sad fact. I’ve taken to writing on my cell phone. Something about the small screen. It frees up inhibitions. Words flow more easily. And inspiration is never squandered since I SLEEP WITH MY PHONE. Ugh. What a mess we’ve made.
Mithra, You write on your cell phone? College Journalism classes taught me to compose at the typewriter, where I used to write by hand. Now, if I write something by hand, it turns out to be a much different piece than if I’d typed it. I think it may access a different part of the brain. I’ll write part of a blog on my phone, but mainly just to make sure I remember something I want to say. xoxox, Brenda
Mithra, you certainly have a new perspective on writing! I have trouble even getting a sentence or two down without a bunch of mistakes. I am more creative when I write the old fashioned way, with a pen in a journal. Keep those pants on, and write away!
Susan, I think being unable to have service while traveling is one of my favorite things about doing it!
I have learned that if something has a deadline, I can go to a Starbucks and order a cappuccino and get my post done. Makes it feel more special, and extravagant.
I’ve also learned not to feel like I am missing anything. Whereas, if I were on my phone, I’d miss a sunset, or a white squirrel, or the chance to meet an interesting person!
Thanks for bringing this topic up!
there is a middle point… an app that will reward you for having the screen off -> https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.insertlove Check it out!!!
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