Study warns that smartphone separation anxiety is increasing as people form closer bonds...

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

With smartphones now considered a necessity for most people, nomophobia - the fear of being without a working cell phone - is becoming an increasingly widespread problem. That’s the view of researchers from Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul and City University of Hong Kong, who say many view the devices as an extension of themselves.

Rather than feeling anxiety from not being able to make phone calls, scientists claim our personalization of smartphones and the bond that comes from capturing and sharing memories on them is what strengthens our attachment, making it difficult for some owners to be without their handsets for any length of time.

Read our feature:
My Month Without a Smartphone

"As smartphones evoke more personal memories, users extend more of their identity onto their smartphones," states the research, which comes from surveying over 300 South Korean Students and is published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.

"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."

Researchers analyzed the students’ language and found those who demonstrated higher levels of nomophobia tended to use words like “memory,” “I,” “my,” and “to me” more often. It was also discovered that these smartphone addicts were more at risk from neck and wrist pains, and likely to get distracted from their studies and work.

The fear of missing out on the latest social media updates, news, etc. can result in many people constantly checking their handsets. During my own month without a smartphone, there were times when I felt as if I’d lost a limb.

Nomophobia isn’t classed as a specific mental disorder, but signs you may fall into this category include being unable to turn off your phone, obsessively checking it, topping up the battery even when it’s not necessary, and taking your handset into the bathroom, all of which I do.

If you think you’re a smartphone (or any other type of technology) addict, experts offer a simple piece of advice: turn it off for a while. “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,” said Dr Brenda Wiederhold from Interactive Media Institute in San Diego, who was not involved in the study. “Exposure therapy, in this case turning off technology periodically, can teach individuals to reduce anxiety and become comfortable with periods of disconnectedness.”

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Now being refereed to as the "I-gen's" are those born between 1995 and 2010 (don't know why it stops there) have a number of interesting traits including:

- Less likely to have premature sex
- Less likely to drink until much later, if every
- Less likely to obtain a drivers license before the age of 20
- Less likely to have physical or sports related injuries
And there are a few more including a tenancy to be anti-social

While some of these traits are a parents dream others are not and the boarderline of bringing on these traits is reported to be those using the phones or txt'ing or other social interaction for more than 2 hours per day.
 
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Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
The solution is simple. Just start a support group and call it "Phoneaholics Anonymous". If those sorts of groups can be a successful treatment for some boozers, hopheads, gamblers, shoppers etc. then why won't it work for these so called nomophobes (this is the very 1st time I've ever heard that word). I know I should feel kinda sympathetic toward people with addictive personalities but in fact I find them kinda amusing.
 

p51d007

TS Evangelist
Now being refereed to as the "I-gen's" are those born between 1995 and 2010 (don't know why it stops there) have a number of interesting traits including:

- Less likely to have premature sex
- Less likely to drink until much later, if every
Whoop Whoop! People have been trying to solve the teenage pregnancy problem, since about the time
I graduated high school, almost FORTY years ago. Thanks to cellphones, perhaps they have!
Sometimes, the drinking problem, leads to the pregnancy problem ;)
 

TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
It's really become an epidemic. I work next to a high school and every time the bell rings and students move from one class to another in a different building - EVERY ONE of them is staring at their phone. No conversation, no interaction with the human being next to them. It's all done through their phones.

Kinda scary, really. Makes you wonder what this kind of anti-social (or socialization through a screen) impact is going to have 20 years from now.
 

Puiu

TS Evangelist
Now being refereed to as the "I-gen's" are those born between 1995 and 2010 (don't know why it stops there) have a number of interesting traits including:

- Less likely to have premature sex
- Less likely to drink until much later, if every
Whoop Whoop! People have been trying to solve the teenage pregnancy problem, since about the time
I graduated high school, almost FORTY years ago. Thanks to cellphones, perhaps they have!
Sometimes, the drinking problem, leads to the pregnancy problem ;)
there are some countries like Japan where they actually hope that teenage pregnancy grows since they pretty much stopped having sex altogether (forever). Virgins for life!
 

Nobina

TS Evangelist
I realized this when my phone broke and I was phoneless for like 2 weeks. I had that feeling that it's still in my pocket just because I'm used to having it there so sometimes I would reach for the phone and then realize it's not there. Then I needed to set an alarm up, call someone, text and I couldn't. I then figured out that I'm like people that quit smoking so they don't know what to do with their hands. I just think about how many people use phones more than I do and they don't even know they are addicted until they have to separate from their phone. Problem is there is no one to criticize you because they are addicted as well so to blame you would be to blame themselves and nobody wants that.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Of course I did forget to mention that the fact that when we have autonomous automobiles, the teenagers won't have enough to occupy themselves and technically it has at least two back seats! I do believe those pregnancy rates are going to make a rebound in a BIG way!
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Of course I did forget to mention that the fact that when we have autonomous automobiles, the teenagers won't have enough to occupy themselves and technically it has at least two back seats! I do believe those pregnancy rates are going to make a rebound in a BIG way!
Another possibility, is that they sit in the back seat and "sext" each other, while they masturbate at opposite ends of the seat. I might add, a very real possibility.

Besides, the car's AI will most likely be programmed with "child proof features", (double entendre pun intended), by the parents to which the car belongs. IE, a glass partition will slide up between those randy teens, as soon as the cars senses potential physical contact. And we're right back to them , "sexting", and satiating themselves individually, along with continued zero population growth.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
there are some countries like Japan where they actually hope that teenage pregnancy grows since they pretty much stopped having sex altogether (forever). Virgins for life!
The Japanese have a sort of bizarre, almost medieval traditions as to male / female roles with regards to "doing the nasty".

This is dramatically illustrated in their completely inaccessible, (by western standards) approach to 'erotic art film scripting'.

If they fail to reproduce, it will save the lives of a great many endangered whale species, which the Japanese still hunt, even though they are on the brink of extinction.

That, coupled with the fact, that Japan is the most densely populated land on the planet, (save I believe, for Great Britain). So, quite bluntly, it would do the world good to 'thin out that herd', so to speak.
 
Smartphones are ADDICTIVE.

You aren't a computer.
Your brain isn't a computer.
Smartphones are pushing many younger people to their psychological limits.