As we are already well aware, with the digital revolution becoming an inherent part of our everyday lives, new opportunities, dimensions, and goods tend to bring about new challenges, addiction and problems as well due to the digital dependency of the people.
People are now facing new diseases and conditions they didn’t have to deal with before our existence had become so tech-dependent, or, to be more precise, gadget-dependent. One fairly recently discovered condition defined by the UK’s research body YouGov, is called “nomophobia”, which is an abbreviation of “no-mobile-phone-phobia”. This is the fear of not having a mobile device/connection available. Or, to put it simply, a mobile phone addiction.
Judging by the symptoms observed in those affected, it is very much the case of dependency: the victims of this condition are known to become anxious, agitated, and disoriented when “separated” with their beloved devices or when those go offline. It also often causes them to experience physical symptoms like perspiration, tachycardia, trembling hands, and shortness of breath. This condition can easily lead to panic attacks and depression.
More and more of us are now physically unable to live without constant call-making, browsing, texting, checking the latest updates on social networks, and so on. Quite a few, according to studies, keep their devices within reach even at night, when asleep.
And, correspondingly, those affected – of which, in Britain alone, there are more than 50% of mobile phone users who need less and less real real-life, face-to-face human interaction as a result. Not only that, but people are willingly decreasing real-life interactions to make sure they have more time online.
Nowadays technical disconnection quickly turns into a literal disconnection and a crisis to the affected people. For them, being devoid of cyberspace, of the virtual world is becoming an equivalent of being thrown away from the real one which leads to that very “loneliness in the crowd”, which existentialists have been talking about for decades. Being online is turning into a basic requirement. The sense of identity is determined by an online presence and communication through the networks.
This also makes one wonder whether this phenomenon is truly new, or if this is maybe just a fear of facing the big and scary world out there. That may be the feeling of vulnerability is what we are all hiding from and being online is an outlet to escape from all that. These devices are allowing us to communicate and be up to date on the latest news without venturing out into the real world. They help keep us entertained and eliminate any fear or anxiety.
The only problem is, they don’t actually eliminate any fear or anxiety. Studies are showing, (such as that by the University of Toronto) that “nomophobics”, even when in presence of their beloved gadgets, fully-working and constantly networked, still experience anxiety, depression, and acute loneliness, more so than those who are not battling this addiction. When all is said and done, the virtual world scares and stresses them just as much as the real one, because it takes the same amount of space in their lives… but brings no tangible reward, unlike the real world.
If we as a society take a good look at ourselves and analyze this issue we can come to realize that this is becoming a crisis. People are more reluctant to stay home and interact via their mobile devices rather than meeting their friends in person. Children are growing up with electronic devices handed to them basically from day one. We are instilling this into our children and into our future. Is there any way to go back from here? Is there any way to save our society? To bring back the days when children would look forward to a time in the park and playing sports and spending quality time with their friends and having a real human to human interaction? We are slowly turning into robots and losing all touch with society. It is a crisis that needs to be dealt with.
Like with any addiction, the best way to approach this is to cut off all ties with the addiction. Cutting out electronics either completely or limiting them can help overcome this addiction.
If you realize you are battling this addiction and are brave enough to quit cold turkey and would like to dispose of every electronic you own, there is some light in this decision. This can also be a great motivation for you. Instead of throwing out all of your electronics, you can sell all of your electronics while making the big step in approaching your addiction. There are several places that will gladly buy your used electronics and mobile devices. Bestbuy, Apple Store, and iGotoffer.com are all wonderful options to where you can sell your electronics. If you are still not feeling like venturing out into the real world just yet, I would recommend doing everything online through Igotoffer. You won’t even have to leave your home to sell your electronics.
Facing addiction is not easy. The first step is to acknowledge that you do have an addiction. The second step is to make a plan on how to face the addiction.
All of this shows that no matter what fear or anxiety you may have about the real world, there is nothing that will help you overcome that fear. Electronics and the virtual world are just an illusion of filling that void. If you feel that you may be a victim of Nomophobia, acknowledge and take the right steps to help free yourself from this addiction. In the end, don’t let your possessions take possession of YOU. Take control and be in possession of your own self. Good luck to you all.