Posts tagged with "Nomophobia"

Something fascinating happens when you take smartphones away from narcissists

December 11, 2023

What happens when you take a smartphone away from a narcissist? Researchers in Romania—who published a recent study about that exact question in the Journal of Psychology—have found that individuals who exhibit signs of narcissism, which is defined by a sense of both self-aggrandizement and insecurity, are much more stressed out than their less-narcissistic peers when they don’t have their phones.

Known as “nomophobia,” an incredible portmanteau of the words “no mobile phone phobia,” the fear of being without one’s smartphone has become a common experience as we become more and more reliant upon—or addicted to—those tiny computers in our pockets, reports Futurism.

While it’s not at all uncommon to feel a sense of stress or unease when being without one’s phone, psychological researchers Alexandra Maftei and Acnana-Maria Pătrăușanu at Romania’s Alexandru Ioan Cuza University found that the more narcissistic their survey respondents seemed to be, the worse their nomophobia tended to get.

Using an online survey tool, the academics recruited 559 participants between the ages of 18 and 45 from post-secondary schools and universities in Eastern Romania and asked them questions that assessed their narcissistic traits, how stressed out they were, and how addicted to social media they were.

In turn, Maftei and Pătrăușanu found that the higher respondents scored on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory assessment they used, the more phone-addicted and nomophobic they seemed. As such, those who had greater levels of social media addiction and nomophobia also, in many cases, tended to be more stressed.

Interestingly, the younger respondents in the study tended to skew both more narcissistic and more nomophobic, which probably makes sense given that today’s young adults have spent most of their lives online and, in doing so, have had their identities shaped and mediated by social media.

While being on social media all the time is certainly a stressor of its own, the dependence that narcissistic individuals seem to, per this study and others like it, have on social media is likely a compounding factor. When you take that stressor away, it perversely makes narcissistic individuals more stressed—and further study will need to be done to figure out why, exactly, that conundrum exists.

Research contact: @futurism

Lost your phone and feel your life’s falling apart? You’ve got ‘nomophobia.’

September  18, 2023

Symptoms include trembling, disorientation, tachycardia, and changes to your breathing. If only there was someone you could call …. But that’s the problem, reports The Guardian UK.

Name: Nomophobia.

Age: The term is 15 years old, although the condition is older.

Appearance: Sweaty, anxious, agitated.

It’s a fear of something, I gather. Sort of.

Let me see: is it from the Greek nomos, a fear of the law or legislature? No, it’s panicking about not having your phone.

How does that work? It’s short for “no mobile phone phobia”.

So it’s not even a thing. It may not be a recognized medical term, but it is definitely a thing. As far back as 2008, a study commissioned by the Post Office indicated that 53% of UK mobile users became anxious when they misplaced their phone or lost connectivity.

A country of nomophobes? Yes, although nomophobia isn’t a phobia per se; it’s more akin to a behavioral addiction or an anxiety disorder.

Is it a very British disease? Not really. A recent study across five Middle Eastern universities found high levels of mobile dependence among students.

What causes nomophobia, then? Well, first and foremost, phones. Mobiles are connected to the Internet, making them highly addictive instruments. But it’s also possible that nomophobia could be a symptom of another addiction or anxiety.

What are the symptoms? They include trembling, disorientation, tachycardia, and changes to your breathing.

Thankfully, I never get any of those, because I am never without my phone for even one second. But what if you lost it, or it was stolen, or it broke, or the battery ran out?

I don’t want to talk about that. Do you take your phone to bed with you?

Of course – what if a minor celebrity scandal breaks in the night? Do you look at the screen more than 35 times a day?

Way more. What’s the point of having a phone if you don’t look at it? Given your answers, you exhibit warning signs of nomophobia.

Is there a cure? It may be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy or exposure therapy, where you gradually get accustomed to spending time without your phone.

I don’t like the sound of that one bit. Medication might also play a role, but it wouldn’t treat the root cause of your anxiety.

Which is, in other words, my phone. You need to get rid of it.

From my cold, dead hands. Just breathe.

Do say: “Where the hell is my phone?”

Don’t say: “I texted my GP about my mobile addiction and now he thinks I’m a homophobe. Damn you, autocorrect!”

Research contact: @GuardianUK