Can't you stay away from your phone or you panic in no time if your phone has less battery? Do you feel sad if it isn't in front of you for a while? Then you must start considering this seriously as it may lead to many health concerns. This can be the sign of "nomophobia" that can cause increase in heart rate, anxiety, blood pressure, and unpleasant feelings, researchers found.
"Nomophobia" or in other words smartphone separation anxiety is the feelings of discomfort or anxiety caused by the non-availability of a mobile device enabling habitual virtual communication.The findings showed that personal memories evoked by smartphones encourage users to extend their identity onto their devices.
"When users perceive smartphones as their extended selves, they are more likely to get attached to the devices, which, in turn, leads to nomophobia by heightening the phone proximity-seeking tendency," said Seunghee Han, doctoral student at the Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul.
For the study, the team developed a model that identified a link between factors such as personal memories and user's greater attachment to their smartphones, leading to nomophobia and a tendency to phone proximity-seeking behaviours. Nomophobia may serve as an indicator of a social disorder or phobia for individuals with a strong dependency on communication through virtual environments, research suggested.
"Nomophobia, fear of missing out (FoMo), and fear of being offline (FoBo) - all anxieties born of our new high-tech lifestyles--may be treated similarly to other more traditional phobias," said Brenda K. Wiederhold, from Interactive Media Institute, California. "Turning off technology periodically, can teach individuals to reduce anxiety and become comfortable with periods of disconnectedness," Wiederhold added.Further, as technology becomes even more personalised and people tend to grow ever more reliant upon it smartphone separation anxiety will become a bigger and bigger issue for people in the future, the researchers warned.
The report published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking also warned users that they should not become over dependent on smartphones. Though, it can't be ignored that introduction of smartphones in modern lives has brought a magnificent change in daily routine. It has positively influenced people by making them more smarter but at the same time it also has many negative effects like addiction, overuse and dependence.
(With IANS inputs)