Nomophobia: What is behind it?


The term "nomophobia" describes the fear of being unreachable via the smartphone. The term comes from the English-speaking world and is the abbreviation for "No-Mobile-Phone-Phobia". This translates to as much as "afraid to have no mobile phone". A 2012 study found that 66 percent of UK mobile phone users fear mobile inaccessibility.

In Germany, too, users of mobile phones are turning to nomophobic behavior. Particularly affected are smartphone users between 18 and 25 years. Often, nomophobics even take their smartphones to the bathroom and to bed. In general, women seem to be more likely to suffer from nomophobia than men.

Who is affected?

Nomophobia affects primarily smartphone users. With smartphones, in contrast to previous cell phones is no longer just phone or sime.

Modern mobile phones are small multifunctional talents. In addition to taking pictures and playing games, smartphone users can easily chat on the go, surf the net, or search for the best restaurant in the area via Internet access. As a result, the smartphone plays a key role in everyday life for many users.

Causes of nomophobia

In nomophobia, the mobile phone is usually used excessively to avoid missing out on important information. The more frequently the mobile phone is used, the greater is the dependence on the functions of the mobile phone. If the cell phone is lost or you are not available for a short time due to a radio hole or a dead battery, there is a subjectively shifted, excessive sense of anxiety.

An important cause of nomophobia is the fear that contact with friends and family can not be fully maintained. This idea fuels the loss anxiety of the smartphone among the majority of those affected most. For others, the smartphone offers the security of reacting quickly in all lifelines.

Without their smartphone sufferers feel less flexible and fear that they can no longer master the demands of everyday life perfectly. Driving forces of nomophobia are generally the fear of loneliness and inner emptiness or the need for attention.

Nomophobic behavior

Typical behaviors, associated with nomophobia are:

  • Withdrawal symptoms, such as nervousness, anxiety and depressive mood, with unwanted abstinence
  • Urge and greed for the smartphone
  • Stress and anxiety when the mobile phone is switched off
  • Sweats, tremors, palpitations, anxiety and panic at unreachable
  • Feeling of "nudity" when the cellphone was left at home

An addiction to the smartphone and the constant accessibility is present when the draw of the mobile phone can no longer be controlled. Often this behavior goes with a Internet addiction associated. In addition to maintaining social contacts, the Internet can be used to solve a question or problem at any time.

The situation of communication loss try to avoid nomohobiker by the following points:

  • Every second person never turns off the smartphone.
  • The smartphone is always carried close to you so as not to lose it.
  • Many nomophobics have a second mobile phone as a replacement.

When does nomophobia occur?

The fear of not being able to share in the exchange of information is growing with low mobile phone credit or decreasing battery life. But it can also be caused by lack of wireless or Internet connections.

Especially in these situations, nomophobics panic about being out of reach and therefore barely put the smartphone out of their hands. Especially with problems with the radio or Internet connection, nomophobics look almost continuously at their mobile phone to immediately recognize a re-emerging radio connection.

The panic of a nomophobian is particularly bad if the smartphone has been lost. In the process, the dreaded situation of absolute loss of communication occurs, which the victims constantly try to escape. In especially bad cases, the idea of ​​being unreachable via the smartphone can trigger a fearful thrust for nomophobics.

What helps against the smartphone addiction?

Psychologists often resort to phobias confrontations with the dreaded situation. Therefore, it is advisable to face the inaccessibility and turn off the phone every day at fixed times to combat the enormous desire for the smartphone. Thus, affected persons can learn that a life without a smartphone is quite possible.

Furthermore, it can help to stow the smartphone and to silence. Especially when eating or in the office the mobile phone should not be put on the table. With these tricks, the constant view of the device can be avoided and also the tension, which is caused by the mobile phone, can decrease with time.

There are now search facilities that specialize in the treatment of Internet addiction and also treat nomophobia. There, for example, patterns of behavior are learned that replace the look on the smartphone.




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