After years of being in the “dark ages”, last month I finally got a Smartphone. I’ve always thought I didn’t really need one…that I could get along without all the fanciness that comes with these types of phones. But now that I have one, I see the draw. I can see why so many people appear attached to the phone in their hands. We use these cell phones every day, but for some people, connecting with the online world via their phone has become not only a convenience, but a necessity, and ultimately an obsession. It’s been called “Nomophobia” – “No mobile phone phobia.” And according to a study conducted by SecurEnvoy, more than 66% of people surveyed said they have a fear of losing their cell phone or being separated from it in some manner, up from only 53% last year. In fact, even 75% of people admit to using their phones in the bathroom.
Instead of the phone being a tool to use as needed, or for emergency situations, they have become a source of addiction, giving people the tools to be online at a second’s notice, allowing them to interact with whoever they want, whenever they want. Because of this, real life relationships are suffering, because people have lost the ability to effectively communicate with people face to face. Instead, they prefer to talk through Facebook, e-mail, or text. While this can be a good thing, many people have taken it to the extreme and rely solely on this method of communication, thus jeopardizing what’s happening in their everyday life.
Do you have nomophobia? You might have it if you are obsessive about checking your phone for text messages or emails, if you sleep with it, you feel anxious if you can’t find it, or you simply never turn it off for fear of missing out on some sort of communication.
Addiction to technology is real and can be potentially hazardous to your relationships. If you or someone you know is addicted to the Internet, cell phone, online gaming, or technology as a whole, visit www.hooked-on-games.com for more information.
 “Addicted to your cell phone? Nomophobia is on the rise.” NBCMiami.com. May 8, 2012. http://digitallife.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/08/11591538-addicted-to-your-cellphone-nomophobia-on-the-rise?lite Accessed August 5, 2012.