Okay, so we have a question for you guys: how many times have you unlocked your phone screen in the past half an hour? Never? Once? Twice? Ten times? There may even be a chance that you’re reading this article from your phone (hey there) right now! Yep, this is because that in today’s day and age, we can’t even leave the house without our cell phones in our hands.
We’re obsessed. We have to film our days, we have to take pictures of our breakfast, and we have to ensure that we’ve kept up with every aspect of our friends’ and celebrities life – because you can’t miss an update, right?! Well, if you think this way, there may be a chance that you suffer from nomophobia…
What is nomophobia?
So what is nomophobia? Well, known more commonly as “No-mobile-phone phobia” this relates to the fear of being away from our cell phones and not keeping up to date with our friends or social media. While you may just think that you simply have a close relationship with your phone, it’s believed that nomophobia could affect up to a whopping 50% of cell phone users over the course of their lives.
In fact, researchers have noted that “Cellphones are possibly the biggest non-drug addiction of the 21st-Century” – and it’s not hard to see why considering the average cell phone user touches their phone 2,617 times every single day! It’s been noted that those who suffer from nomophobia may experience symptoms such as trembling, depression, panic attacks, anxiety and even profusely sweating. Is this you? Well, here are three ways to get rid of nomophobia.
Change your notification settings
One of the main reasons why we unlock our phone screens is because we receive notifications – whether they are from text messages, emails, or even social media notifications. These notifications immediately form a gap in our knowledge, and we want to know what the text says, we want to know what the email is about, and we want to know what has happened on social media right there and then. So, we unlock our phones to check out the notifications.
To combat this, you will need to change your notification settings. Rather than having your notifications immediately come onto your screen, you can personalize each app to refresh its notifications every hour, or every few hours. This should stop you from looking at your phone so much.
Move your cell phone away from you
Have you ever mistakenly felt your phone vibrate in your pocket when it didn’t vibrate in real life? Apparently, 90% of us suffer from phantom vibration syndrome, and many believe this is because we go about our lives with our phones right beside us. By creating space between you and your cell phone, you will be able to give yourself even more time between each unlocking and scrolling sessions – lessening the chance of nomophobia.
Don’t rely on your willpower alone
You may think that you can simply ‘turn off’ your nomophobia and become less addicted to your phone – but that just doesn’t work. Instead, you need to rely on outside sources and a new routine to really help you step away from your phone screens. You can download apps that block you from using social media for a few hours, you can stop your notifications from automatically popping up on your screen, and you can even give your phone to a loved one to look after. You will need help.
While nomophobia may seem like an over-exaggeration, it is a real threat to our society – after all, there’s nothing worse than having a conversation with someone who is attached to their phones!