Did you know that smart phone addiction now has a clinical name? It’s called “nomophobia” (which is short for no-mobile-phone phobia), and psychologists say that it’s affecting more and more people.
Symptoms include feelings of panic or desperation when separated from your smartphone, not being able to focus on conversations or work, and constantly checking phones for notifications. Some people may think their phone is ringing when it’s not, a condition called mobile phone vibration syndrome that researchers say could be a sign of a more serious technology addiction.
Research has shown that similar to other addictions people that are addicted to their smart phones experience an elevation in Dopamine when they receive a notification on their phone. The brain will then be compelled to keep checking for the next “hit”.
Just like with any addiction, most addicts are in denial. Not many people admit they have a problem and most don’t make the connection to the anxiety they feel. In most cases the symptoms are manageable. However as with all addictions, for some people it will have a major negative impact on their lives. Checking their phone and social media will chew up hours of their day and affect their relationships, their work performance and even the amount of sleep they get.
If you think your smart phone addiction is beginning to disrupt your life, Hypnotherapy can help you. Here at Hypfocus in Mentone we can work with you to bring your smart phone usage down to a level where you are back in control of your day, and not distressed to have your phone out of reach.
Below there’s a test for smart phone addiction that I came across in the Huffington Post, take the test and see where you stand!
Are you a smartphone junkie? Rate each item on a scale of 1 ("completely disagree") to 7 ("strongly agree") and tally up your total score to find out. Be honest!
1. I would feel uncomfortable without constant access to information through my smartphone.
2. I would be annoyed if I could not look information up on my smartphone when I wanted to do so.
3. Being unable to get the news (e.g., happenings, weather, etc.) on my smartphone would make me nervous.
4. I would be annoyed if I could not use my smartphone and/or its capabilities when I wanted to do so.
5. Running out of battery in my smartphone would scare me.
6. If I were to run out of credits or hit my monthly data limit, I would panic.
7. If I did not have a data signal or could not connect to Wi-Fi, then I would constantly check to see if I had a signal or could find a Wi-Fi network.
8. If I could not use my smartphone, I would be afraid of getting stranded somewhere.
9. If I could not check my smartphone for a while, I would feel a desire to check it.
If I did not have my smartphone with me ...
10. I would feel anxious because I could not instantly communicate with my family and/or friends.
11. I would be worried because my family and/or friends could not reach me.
12. I would feel nervous because I would not be able to receive text messages and calls.
13. I would be anxious because I could not keep in touch with my family and/or friends.
14. I would be nervous because I could not know if someone had tried to get a hold of me.
15. I would feel anxious because my constant connection to my family and friends would be broken.
16. I would be nervous because I would be disconnected from my online identity.
17. I would be uncomfortable because I could not stay up-to-date with social media and online networks.
18. I would feel awkward because I could not check my notifications for updates from my connections and online networks.
19. I would feel anxious because I could not check my email messages.
20. I would feel weird because I would not know what to do.
How You Score:
20: Not at all nomophobic. You have a very healthy relationship with your device and have no problem being separated from it.
21-60: Mild nomophobia. You get a little antsy when you forget your phone at home for a day or get stuck somewhere without WiFi, but the anxiety isn't too overwhelming.
61-100: Moderate nomophobia. You're pretty attached to your device. You often check for updates while you're walking down the street or talking to a friend, and you often feel anxious when you're disconnected. Time for a digital detox?
101-120: Severe nomophobia. You can barely go for 60 seconds without checking your phone. It's the first thing you check in the morning and the last at night, and dominates most of your activities in-between. It might be time for a serious intervention.
© Copyright Hypfocus Therapies and Training May 2015
Melbourne Hypnotherapist Georgina Mitchell was born in Ireland, moving to Australia in 1989. Georgina Specialises in helping people with Anxiety Disorders and is an active member of the Melbourne Hypnotherapy Community. In Melbourne Hypnosis is being accepted as effective tool for anyone wanting to achieve a positive change in Mood, Behaviour and Habit.
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Please note as with all therapies, Results for Therapies delivered by Hypfocus may vary from person to person