Everywhere I go these days, I’m surrounded by Nomophobes. Whether it’s at a luncheon, a business presentation, or a casual dinner, these addicts are showing their disrespect and lack of social grace in record numbers. This addiction has swept the nation! It’s the fear of being without your cell phone.
Nomophobia is the abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia,” and it’s used to describe the anxiety we experience when we run out of the house without our phone, or we’re out of cell phone range, or the flight attendant says, “Turn off your mobile devices.” If you can relate, then you are a Nomophobe.
With all its virtues, today’s electronic age has brought with it requests that expect immediate replies, superficial relationships and distractions that can totally ruin our days, or worse, even kill us. We’ve become so dependent on our devices that, in one study, 94% of respondents felt panicked, desperate or sick when they’d misplaced their phones, compared to only 6% who felt relieved.
I did a little research, and found some staggering statistics. According to the respondents:
- 66% of the population suffers from Nomophobia.
- 66% of people sleep with their smart phones.
- 20% would rather go shoeless for a week than go without their phones.
- 11% of Americans with smart phones would rather leave home without their pants than their phones.
- 55% of women would rather leave home without makeup.
- 29% would rather leave home without cash.
- Men can go 9 hours without their phones; women only 7 hours.
- Average smart phone user checks email and texts on their phone 110 times a day.
- Social media has had a profound negative impact on self-esteem
Here is a crazy new form of “art” called a Slumpie to support your addiction! It’s the artist’s way of “make your ever-growing addiction to your smart phone all the more comfortable.” Really? Why not just get some exercise and enjoy some real art instead?
How long can you go without touching your cell phone? I must admit, I’ve been tied to mine way too much over recent years. But I’m making a conscious effort to leave it in my purse or in another room when I’m with family or friends, and I uninstalled Facebook, which was a big distraction.
If you can’t live without your smart phone, I challenge you to go a day without it. Fill your free time with things you’re always saying you don’t have time to do. Unplug, renew relationships and refresh your mind. Be present with those you are with, whether in a meeting or an intimate dinner. Re-visit the “good old days,” when our current technology was only for the movies. Can’t go cold turkey? Take baby steps and ease into your newfound freedom. You might be surprised at all you’ve been missing!