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Nomophobia — Are you of the affected?

February 26, 2018

Almost half of all teenagers feel addicted to their smartphones, according to Common Sense Media. Almost 80 percent feel inclined to respond to text messages, notifications from Snapchat, Instagram, and other social media networks almost immediately. You could be one of the thousands of people suffering from Nomophobia — or no mobile phone phobia.

I conducted my own poll of 20 teenagers and 18 of them felt they were addicted to their phone.

Eighth grader Gabrielle Suprenant feels she doesn’t have a problem with her phone.

“I wouldn’t say I’m addicted,” she said, “but I like to have it on me for security purposes.”

But Alexis Minzey knows she is addictetd to hers.

“Yes, I am. For sure,” she said.

And to think, it’s not just teenagers who struggle with their addiction to their cell phones. People of all ages are becoming more tech-savvy and adding to the number of nomophobics. But it’s unreasonable to think this could stop anytime soon; with more makes and models comes more customers and demand.

Smartphones may not seem new to people in middle school, but they really have been around a little more than 25 years. The first cell phone was released in 1992, but they weren’t “smartphones” until they could connect to the Internet — in 1995. But since then, people  have become more and more reliant on their phones. Seventy-seven percent of Americans own at least one smartphone — and some feel the need to own two or more, just in case they might need it.  

We can’t throw the blame completely on the companies producing smartphones though. The general working industry is partly to blame as well. With conference calls replacing face-to-face meetings and everything being so accessible via your cell phone, it’s all you need. It’s much easier to carry around than a hefty laptop.

Nevertheless, we still need to accept some responsibility. The average person checks their phone between 60 and 300 times daily — about once every eight minutes. It’s crazy. In a poll conducted by TIME Mobility, 84 percent of people said they’d feel anxious without their phone for 24 hours.

One of the more dangerous problems with cell phone addiction is the need to look at  your phone when you’re driving. More than half of parents admit to checking their phones while driving and 51 percent of teenagers say they’ve caught their parent in the act. Even though it seems harmless, it only takes a few seconds to direct your attention from the road to your phone, and away from pedestrians. An estimated nine people are killed daily by distracted drivers. That’s nine people too many.

Another dilemma entailed with the generation of technology — or the iGen — is the ability of parents to over-monitor their children, making teens and young adults less independent. Parents can talk to and text their child multiple times a day, meaning that whenever a young person in a “sticky” situation with college or on the side of the road with car troubles, mom or dad are always available. A young person can simply call their parents up and ask for help, whereas 20 years ago, they would have had to persevere and figure it out for themselves.

Nomophobia and cell phone addiction are becoming more and more popular by the year, and there’s little to no effort to stop it.

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