Do You Suffer from Nomophobia?

August 18, 2017

In real estate, you likely rely on your phone for your business. Your clients demand instant responses, and you can’t risk missing a detail in the midst of a transaction. You’re constantly checking your phone and having it nearby.

This attachment to your phone could put you at risk for “nomophobia.” It’s the fear of being without a working cell phone.

Researchers from Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul and City University of Hong Kong say that many people are starting to view their smartphone as an extension of themselves. That makes it difficult to separate from it for any length of time and has sparked an increase in those addicted to their phones.

Smartphone addicts may be at more risk from neck and wrist pains, and more prone to getting distracted from their work too, the study found.

Nomophobia is not classified as a specific mental disorder. Those likely to have it, however, are unable to turn off their phone, obsessively check it, fill up the battery even when it’s not necessary, and bring their device into the bathroom with them, researchers say.

“When users perceive smartphones as their extended selves, they are more likely to become attached to the devices, which, in turn, leads to nomophobia by heightening the phone proximity-seeking tendency,” according to the study, published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

So, how do you treat your nomophobia? Turn off your device—every once in a while, at least.

“Nomophobia, fear of missing out (FOMO), and fear of being offline (FOBO)—all anxieties born of our new high-tech lifestyles—may be treated similarly to other more traditional phobias,” Brenda Wiederhold from the Interactive Media Institute in San Diego, who was not involved in the study, told “Exposure therapy, in this case turning off technology periodically, can teach individuals to reduce anxiety and become comfortable with periods of disconnectedness.”

Source: “Study Warns That Smartphone Anxiety Is Increasing as People Form Closer Bonds With Their Handsets,” (Aug. 17, 2017)