SOCIAL MEDIA: THE REALITY OF “NOMOPHOBIA”.

Posted: December 1, 2015 in Social Network/Media

 

Besides their skin, what the average human being in the 21st century would always want to carry along at every instance is their mobile phones. Nomophobia” (No-mobile-phone-phobia) is the fear of not having a mobile phone or not carrying one’s mobile phone. This refers to the intense anxiety and fear that overcomes an individual when they don’t have their smart or mobile phones on them. People run into a brief  state of panic or experience an episode of mild shock whenever they can’t find their phones or are not able to use it temporarily.

According to a report by Ofcom (the communications industry regulator in Britain), which released figures in May 2015, the average amount of time spent online has more than doubled from 9.9 hours a week 10 years ago to 20.5 hours. Also, a separate report suggests that the average Briton checks their phone 50 times in one day. (I now begin to wonder how much time the average Nigerian spends online…your guess is as good as mine). As a result, researchers in America have released a 20-point questionnaire to establish quite how addicted you are to your phone. This is to say nomophobia is becoming an issue, a clinical one even.

Smart-phones, tablets, devices…they have become so real to this generation as the food we eat or the clothe we wear. Many can sacrifices alot to keep their phones close; being the first thing they see and touch at dawn and the last they relate with before bed. Prayers for some believers is even becoming secondary. Some believers because of love for these things have even digitalized our devotions, taking them online. That’s good, but this comes with its own limitations.

Phone addiction can become just as damaging as an addiction to alcohol or gambling or pre-marital/extra-marital sex. if not guarded, we would be ruining ourselves rather than building. We have to measure the cost of our phone usage, in terms of our relationships, whether you are spending too much time with you device and paying less attention to people. This is because most times we do not rightly divide our time, we get sucked into our phones that we pay less attention to physical interaction on on-spot relationships. We also have to quantify the effect on our personal lives as individuals.

Persistent-addictive-uncontrolled phone usage is known to cause so much damage. It first of all rub us of smooth, effective and efficient interpersonal communication with those around us. These devices so engage us that it becomes hard for us to relate properly to those around us. This inhibits interpersonal relationship.

Besides, it interferes with our productivity outside the internet. It achieves this by reducing the time, energy and commitment we ought to have channeled into achieving more things per day. It reduces that and daily reduces efficiency.

Smart-phones according to some researches can lead to cancer over years. “Radiofrequency radiation is the type of radiation given off by smartphones, and that radiation can cause imbalances in the human body that can lead to diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. According to the study, people who use their smartphones 20 minutes a day for at least five years are three times more likely to get a brain tumor. What sets this study apart from the others is that the data was collected over the course of 10 years, and offers some compelling evidence to back up its claims. Dr. Yakymenko warns that cancer and other diseases caused by using smartphones can take decades to appear.

In addition, overly phone use can interfere with our sleep circles. If you think that lying in bed and playing games on your smartphone is just harmless fun, then you may want to think again. According to Information Week, mobile computing devices give off a blue light that tricks the brain into thinking that it is still daytime. The brain stops the process of shutting down for sleep, and your sleep cycle is disrupted. Many people who feel that they do not sleep well at night may want to consider whether or not they use their mobile computing devices as they lie in bed. Instead of helping you fall asleep, your smartphone is causing your brain to stay awake and that can have damaging long-term effects. The inability to get the proper amount of rest over the course of many years can lead to high blood pressure and even heart disease.

Smartphone Kills Your Short-Term Memory. A big disadvantage of our smart phone is that it eliminates the need for you to have to remember anything, and that is killing your short-term memory. Before smartphones, people had to memorize phone numbers, dates and important information if they wanted to be able to use it later. But now that smartphones do all of the remembering for us, thus we under use our brain, and it is causing problems with short-term memory.  Some doctors insist that the damage created by people no longer using their short-term memories is similar to receiving head trauma. While you may remember to turn on your favorite television show at night, you might not remember what happened during the course of the day as your short-term memory has been permanently damaged.
Smartphones make life easier, but they can also have damaging long-term effects on your body.

From radiation causing tumors in your brain to the loss of your short-term memory, it is becoming obvious that people need to be more responsible with their smartphone use if they want to avoid serious physical and mental issues as they get older.

These are just few of the effects in addition to failure to meet up with schedules, goals, and appointment; low grades amongst students, etc.

One that has become an issue for we Christian youths is the battle between the media and our Bible. I can’t believe God is struggling with us, with the world. The battle is intense, the price costly. We have so much time, that we don’t have time for the Word. We can chat and surf for hours but can’t study the word for an hour. This give me cause to worry. Which generation then is the herald for the future? We must awaken to the reality that beset us! Imbibe a healthy phone-use habit! Christians must develop discipline. We must Know when to pick our phone and when to drop it.

Finally,  “you wake up in the morning and the first thing you are reaching for is your phone? Then something is wrong with your faith. Jesus must order our lives, not the media.”

Reference for research data:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/mobile-phones/11600815/Are-you-addicted-to-your-mobile-phone.html

http://www.nigerianbulletin.com/threads/how-smart-phone-addicts-are-slowly-killing-themselves.132620/

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