Nomophobia: A silent addiction
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In the 70´s, personal phones were nearly non-existent, there was only 1 phone for the whole family and it was mostly for urgent matters. Today it is rare to find a person who doesn’t own a smartphone; it has become a part of our life, our partner in our chores and has helped to simplify tasks for us. Sadly, for most people it has become an addiction that has not only brought benefits but also cons in the way society gets along with the world. In fact, the Centro de Estudios Especializado en Trastornos de la Ansiedad (CEETA) already identified the dependence of the mobile phone as a disorder that acts as a fear of being without it and it is called nomophobia, which since 2014 has grown over 13% more. The biggest issue is that nomophobia is affecting humans lifestyles in a worrying way provoking them to have anxiety, depression, health problems and even bad social effects.
According to an IDC report, people between 18 and 44 years old spend two hours in excess on their phones using social media or communicating via messages, also, about 80% of them check their phone at least once in a lapse of 15 minutes after waking up (South University). Actually, there has been studies saying that the human brain has shrunk in the past 1000 years (Stringer, 2017), some people say it is due to the dependence of the technology for our daily routines.
Smartphones are still the No. 1 product that is being bought in the mexican market, with 85% of the sales and in second place, laptops, with 74% (DGMCS). What most people now know for sure, it’s that they need intelligent devices to keep up with all the technological advances, the news, work schedules, and all of their activities throughout the day; what they are not realizing, is that their making it a priority being attach to their devices instead of making time to support their relationships, having time for themselves, and being aware of their surroundings.
Society has reached a point where technology has become bad for personal health; Samadhi is an addiction center that first started to help people with gambling problems, but with the success of the program, they branched out to addiction to social media, cellphone conexions, and the internet. In their web page, they define what is the pathological state of being addicted to technology and give advice on how to recognize one’s addiction and it’s symptoms. It’s shocking to see how now they have helped centers in important cities in Mexico; certainly it can be seen that in the future Samadhi will keep growing, because technology will always be changing and improving.
The phone addiction is a problem encountered constantly in rise, any user of this technology may find itself absorbed and eventually will receive a negative consequence, why wait until that happens when we can prevent it ourselves, for us and for our community, it is so simple as limiting ourselves to only 2 hours per day on our phones.
Small actions, big changes.