I travel to my college by bus every day. The other day, after a long night of binge-watching Brooklyn – 99, I had a really late morning. As the bus honked loudly outside, I bolted out of the door grabbing my bag in one hand and my breakfast in another. As I fell into a seat and arranged my belongings, I realized that my very beloved phone had been left behind charging, but the bus had started moving. I panicked- I was about to experience 8 phone-less hours. Frantically I placed calls to everyone who lived in the hostel and sent out a message in all groups in a desperate attempt to get it. Thankfully, one of my classmates was attending a late class and she could get it for me. I was saved from a terrible fate.
How technology has barged into our lives
I’m sure you all resonate with this anecdote. We’re all addicted to our phones- Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter- the never-ending list. Right from checking whether it is going to rain in the next hour to booking a cab to reach our destination, we are completely dependent on our phones.
In my life, Google types my messages and Grammarly checks the grammar. WordPress voices my thoughts and YouTube’s music is my work-anthem. Flo reminds me to buy sanitary napkins and Zomato sends me suggestions on where to buy the antidote-al ice-cream.
Does your phone act like your secretary too?
What is Nomophobia?
Research conducted by the Iowa State University has indicated that this phenomenon- nomophobia or no-mobile-phone- phobia is acute anxiety one experiences when he/she is separated from one’s phone. Most importantly, it also points to the extreme dependency on phones for basic functioning. Therefore, its absence acts as a handicap in our life.
Are you a nomophobe? Take this test!
1. When do you check your phone?
(a) As soon as you wake up (8 pts)
(b) During breakfast (6 pts)
(c) On the way to work (4 pts)
(d) When you get a message (2 pts)
2. How often do you check your phone?
(a) Every five minutes (8 pts)
(b) Every 30 minutes (6 pts)
(c) Every hour (4 pts)
(d) 4-5 times a day (2 pts)
3. Where do you keep your mobile phone while you sleep?
(a) Under your pillow (8 pts)
(b) Beside the bed (6 pts)
(c) On the other side of your room (4 pts)
(d) In another room (2 pts)
4. Do you take your phone with you to the bathroom?
(a) Usually (8 pts)
(b) Sometimes (6 pts)
(c) You’ve considered it (4 pts)
(d) Never (2 pts)
5. What do you mostly use it for?
(a) Social Media (8 pts) (WHATSAPP COUNTS AS SOCIAL MEDIA)
(b) Emails (6 pts)
(c) Music (4 pts)
(d) Texts and Calls (2 pts)
10- 15: No signs of Nomophobia
16-28: On the Slippery Slope
29- 48: You’re an addict!
What can we do?
We could change this and reduce the anxiety and sleeplessness caused due to Nomophobia. A small step of switching off our phones during meals and sleep can help. Maybe we could clear the clutter of unused apps in our phone.
Let’s wear a watch instead of taking our phone out to check the time and get drowned in the vicious cycle. Else, soon the end to AIB’s ‘If Apps were People’ wouldn’t be the apps dying but, our social skills and peace.
Read Also: Cherophobia: The Happiness of Happiness.