“Hey! See my new shirt. How do I look?”—extremely delighted Siddharth asked his friend, Rohan.
Rohan didn’t acknowledge Siddharth’s question and continued playing game on his mobile phone.
“Rohaaaaaaan! C’mon ya! Look here dude!” screamed Siddharth.
“O yes! You look great” Rohan said half-heartedly and was back to his game.
Rohan’s nonchalance towards other individuals grew with the passage of time. While dining with parents he remained engaged doing something or the other with his phone, clearly ignoring his parents’ talks.
Family gatherings were no different. He preferred sitting at one corner of the room with neck drooped down and mobile in his hands than to play with other cousins of his age.
He no longer had the same group of friends. He started mingling up with senior boys in college and through them got into gambling.
He remained active on his mobile till wee hours as a result, his circadian rhythm got altered. During college lectures he “slept with open eyes” all the time which significantly affected his attention and concentration level.
His mobile addiction started affecting his academic score. He wouldn’t complete his classroom assignments timely. Furthermore, he wouldn’t attend college particularly on assignment submission
n day(s) instead would sit in the college cafeteria all day long with eyes engrossed in his mobile phone. He wouldn’t even pay attention to his hunger calls. His physical strength deteriorated eventually.
Soon, Rohan started reporting episodes of severe headaches, had itchy eyes and his vision got blurred too. He frequently complained about issues like sore elbows, hands and neck due to repetitive mobile use.
While studying he kept on checking his phone after every few minutes. At times he even overheard his phone ringing when actually it didn’t.
He wanted to get rid of his mobile phone now but couldn’t do so. He felt helpless just like a drug addict.
Yes! Rohan suffered from Smart-Phone Addiction Disorder also popularly known as Nomophobia!
Nomophobia is characterized by anxiety caused mainly due to the fear of not having access to a mobile phone. The uncontrollable urge to check mobile every now and then to make sure no call, message or any notification is missed. Researches have shown young adults as the most affected population by nomophobia.
The major psychological effects of Nomophobia include:
- Fear and Panic
- Aggression and restlessness
- Low self esteem
- Low attention and concentration
- Feeling of missing out (FOMO) or Loneliness
- A sense of disorientation
- If not treated timely, can lead to Depression
Nomophobia, along with major psychological side effects also has physiological repercussions namely:
- Body aches
- Pain in fingers, hands and elbow
- Itchy and watery eyes
- Agitation and Restlessness
- Sleep disturbance
A Mother to her 6 years old daughter—“No baby! Don’t shout we will leave for home shortly.” The girl continued to scream not letting the mother talk to her friend and as an easy resort mother gave her mobile phone to her baby and said—“ Now play with it till I talk to aunty.”
With an advancement of technology and financial upliftment of society not just the adolescents but small kids of age 4-5 years remain completely engrossed in mobile phones.
The major responsibility in curbing Smart-phone addiction lies in the hands of Parents, especially the new-breed Parents who being financially sound fulfill every/any whim(s) of their kids without giving a thought about the future disguised repercussions.
Some parents even appreciate their offsprings operating mobile phones at a very tender age. It has been observed that excess usage of mobile phones at tender age affects the overall mental development of kids.
Excessive mobile usage among adolescents has risen to an alarming level. Amongst other after-effects of mobile addiction deteriorating rate of Face to Face communication within families and social groups is much talked about.
As responsible adults immediate steps should be taken to curb excessive mobile usage of teenagers as well as the young school-goers.
As parents of young kids, it’s better to keep mobile phones out of your kids’ reach and motivate them to engage in more outdoor activities. Never-Ever use Mobile phones as reinforcer/reward in response to a desired behavior.
It’s better to cut it at the roots rather than bearing its brunt all your life………