Parents should be alert to signs of the emergence of nomophobia, a 21st century disease, in their teenage child. Nomophobia in Teens.
Nomophobia is a new term used to describe a phenomenon typical of modern civilization. It refers to the irrational fear that many young people feel when they do not have access to a telephone or the Internet.
While teens are most likely to suffer more from this condition, none of us are immune. After all, in the modern world we are all in constant contact.
This is undeniably a disturbing point. Experts are working on developing therapies to deal with this problem, which can have serious consequences for mental health.
Nomophobia: How to Recognize It
Does your teenage child constantly look at their phone, the temporary lack of access to the device makes you anxious and constantly active on social media? If so, it’s likely that it’s nomophobia.
Nomophobia affects young people between the ages of 12 and 23 the most.
This generation was born in a world where mobile devices were already ubiquitous and you just can’t imagine life without a mobile phone.
They are obsessed with battery levels and get frustrated at the mere suggestion that they may not be able to use a cell phone.
How nomophobia manifests itself in adolescents
Parents should pay attention to certain behavioral patterns and give guidance to their teenagers if the problem is actually nomophobia.
To do this, they must be able to recognize symptoms that indicate that the child’s attachment to the cell phone is above the normal level:
- Frustration and even desperation if a parent restricts the use of a cell phone.
- Upset when mobile signal or Wi-Fi connection is lost.
- No control over the situation when the battery is empty or there are no charging points.
- Compulsively checking your phone for messages, social media notifications, or calls.
- The phone is not turned off even during sleep or lies close to the baby’s bed.
- Free time without a mobile phone at hand is not fun for a child.
Who is most at risk?
Scientists believe that up to 70% of young people are addicted to mobile devices.
Nomophobia generally appears in the teenage years. At this stage, young people seek acceptance from social groups and want to feel part of the community.
Experts say that nomophobia affects girls and young women more often than boys and young men.
The reason for this is that teenage girls are more likely to form and maintain strong relationships with their friends over the phone.
Young women also have a strong need for attention. All of this can put them at risk of addiction to the phone.
What is the risk of nomophobia
Nomophobia in teens places mobile devices at the center of their lives.
Psychologists warn that this can lead to young people developing superficial and fragile relationships. Young people express themselves exclusively through messages and emoticons.
When it comes to interpersonal interactions, these kinds of messages are a poor substitute for face-to-face contact.
Dependence on a mobile device makes it much more difficult for young people to connect with others in person.
Consequences of addiction to mobile devices
The uncontrolled fear of losing access to a mobile device can expose teens to:
- Addiction to hard-to-control mobile devices.
- Insomnia – constantly checking your phone for messages and notifications, disrupting your normal sleep mode.
- A state of permanent anxiety.
- Low school performance.
- Impact on self-esteem.
- All activities except those with the use of a mobile device may seem boring.
- The emergence of social problems and difficulties in maintaining relationships.
5 tips for dealing with nomophobia
While talking to a professional is the best option in these circumstances, parents and children can work together to develop addiction to mobile devices:
- When at home, stay away from phones. Try to leave the devices in another room.
- Turn off the phones at night and leave them in rooms other than the bedroom.
- Try to go out without the phone for a while. This way you will get used to not having it always with you.
- Remove all applications from the phone that require constant attention. This may include games or addictive mobile games or social networks.
- Switch to a more restricted data plan to force yourself to use your phone less.
- If the above steps are difficult, use the special applications. There are apps designed to encourage you to focus on tasks without using your phone. For example, there is an application available that makes the virtual tree grow when you are not using your phone for 15, 30, 60 minutes or more.
Nomophobia is a technological anguish. The good news is that it can be cured.
With dedication, patience and willpower, teens can overcome their addiction to mobile devices before it becomes a serious problem.
Healthcare professionals may recommend specific therapies to modify behavior and effectively combat this form of anxiety disorder.
Technology is a great tool, but it’s up to us to make good use of it. This means that we should not let her take control of our lives.