Your Illness is Not Your Identity: In this Pandemic, a Blog on the Effects of Nomophobia (No Mobile Phone Phobia) on the Lives of Adolescents in One of Asia's Countries
by: Almira Y. Pedrajas
Adolescents spend most of their time on their phones especially in this time of pandemic because they have online classes. They enjoy playing mobile games like Mobile Legends, PUBG, League of Legends, or other similar games and chatting with their friends on messenger. There are numerous benefits, including the ability to communicate with their classmates even when they are not physically present, playing games as a way of stress reliever and the ability to search conveniently for assignments and activities via the internet. However, excessive use of electronics might have a negative impact on their physical, emotional, and mental health. Aren’t you concerned? This blog will explain everything.
There are some adolescents suffer from Nomophobia. What is it all about?
It is tough for smartphone users to stop from using their devices. Furthermore, adolescents sense worry when they are not connected to their smartphones. This phenomena is known as nomophobia (NO MObile PHONE phoBIA), and it describes the anxiety that occurs when one loses or is separated from one’s smartphone, as well as the worry that arises from being unable to use one’s smartphone (Bian & Leung, 2015; Emanuel et al., 2015; SecurEnvoy, 2012; Yildirim, 2014). It is regarded a digital era modern phobia, and it is linked to problematic mobile technology use (Gezgin, umuer, Arslan, & Yildirim, 2017) and addiction issues (Güzel, 2018).
The Philippines has been labeled “the world’s social media capital” which has contributed to an increase in the prevalence of smartphone addiction among adolescents. According to the recent study of Buctot, Kim and Kim (2020), recent study evaluating the predictive capacity of smartphone addiction for health-related quality of life among Filipino adolescents discovered a high prevalence rate of smartphone addiction.
What are the SEVEN characteristics of Nomophobia?
1. Extended periods of time spent on a smartphone
2. Carrying a phone charger at all times
3. Apprehensive about the potential of losing one’s smartphone and losing network coverage
4. Frequently calling others or checking messages
5. Being unable to turn off one’s smartphone for a period of 24 hours
6. Using modern technologies to communicate and minimizing face-to-face social encounters
7. Experiencing an increase in the prices and debts incurred as a result of smartphone use.
What are the effects of Nomophobia to the Adolescents?
· Fewer sleeping hours
· Lack of exercise
· Weight loss
· Feeling of fear and anxiety
· Agitation and disorientation
· Respiratory Alteration
· Heart rate above normal (Tachycardia)
· Smartphone addiction
This issue of the technology age is a growing concern that can affect mental health and this should be taken seriously!
What are the health promoting lifestyle behaviors?
Adolescents should be accountable for their health, particularly in terms of physical activity and proper diet. They should be properly educated on how to live a healthy lifestyle and make informed decisions. Parents play a crucial role in keeping their children responsible for their health. For example, they should also monitor and educate their children’s use of social media, provide guidance on its boundaries and engage their children on physical activities.
Always Remember that Your ILLNESS is not your IDENTITY!
Adolescence is a developmental stage during which health risk behaviors are common, but it is also a good time to start practicing healthy habits and adopting positive health behaviors. Adolescents need to have a positive outlook on life and have positive interpersonal relationships. In order to establish a strong real-life interpersonal relationship, they must interact physically with people especially in this time of pandemic. According to Roger Birkman, “The reality of life is that your perceptions – right or wrong -influence everything else you do. When you get a proper perspective of your perceptions, you may be surprised how many other things fall into place.”