Sometimes things come across your desk that stop you dead in your tracks, and you say, “That just can’t be.” And then you find out, “Yes, it can.”
This happened to me the other day when I read a news release that said that at least 40% of Americans (and 90% of under 30 millennials) are afflicted with “nomophobia”-the fear of not having, or losing, their smartphones. This fear actually produces psychological and physical symptoms. One colleague said it should be called “no-more-phoneaphobia.” Seriously, this is no laughing matter. These statistics reveal the extent to which technology is changing our personal lives. When people don’t have their smartphones, they feel disconnected and isolated (72% of people report being within five feet of their smartphone the majority of the time.)
According to an article in Psychology Today (July 25, 2013) when people who own smartphones (56% of all Americans) were asked how they felt when they misplaced their phones, 73% said they were “panicked,” 14% were “desperate,” 7% “sick,” and 6% were “relieved.”
Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd reports that one well-respected study found “the urge to log into social networking sites” exceeds all other urges except “sleep and sex,” including “drugs and alcohol.”
All of us have observed, or experienced, people texting on their smartphones: in restaurants, at movies, in church, at lectures and even while driving (although statistics show that this is far more dangerous than driving while intoxicated). According to Mobile Consumer Habits (2013) 12% of Americans even acknowledge they use their smartphones while in the shower.
People feel disconnected from family, friends, and acquaintances when they are deprived of their smartphones. According to Junio, 58% of cell phones users feared “losing contact with others” if their phones were taken away.
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SOURCE: The Christian Post