Monday, February 21, 2011

NOMOPHOBIA: r u a victim too?

The closeness towards material belongings has long ago taken over personal relationships. In today’s date, we measure our success buy how many gadgets we own, how many cars are standing in our driveway or how many dwellings are on our name. With the excuse of “we have money and don’t know where to spend it” or “we are investing in assets which would be carried down to our future generations”, we have managed to fool ourselves long enough now.

Of all the things we possess, our cell phones have won over all other kind of gadgets. Building a connection with others is an excuse, for fixed line phones have majorly taken a backseat and mobile phones rule the roost. Even though we reside in a world where everything is just a ring away, we are still disconnected with ourselves.

The excuses to be in touch with everyone all the time is just a fa├žade. Using it as a shield, technology has developed us into mere puppets in its hands.

Joining the list of phobias is another phobia, namely, ‘Nomophobia’. As many can guess, it denotes a stage where people are separated from their mobile phones. Either by loss of battery, credit or no network coverage, it drives the people to high levels of stress, rage and sometimes, even self deprecation.

Just leaves me amazed out of my wits. Could anyone have imagined that there could have been such a time when we would be rendered useless without the use of technology to aide us? Well, certainly not. The higher the dependency on mobiles, the need to remain connected increases manifold.

Consider the times when the call rates and especially, mobile handsets used to cost a fortune. Before making a call from your mobile, apart being ready to shell out Rs 15-20 for a minute’s call, we had to brace ourselves for making the call. The contrast has made itself glaringly clear these days. Available at every nook and corner, cell phones have become a must have fashion statement for everyone. Irrespective of the status symbol, or the strata of society you belong to, if you don’t have a cell phone by your side, you’re looked down upon.

Have you ever asked yourself…What would happen if you were stranded without your cell phone for a day, maybe two? If the thought has never crossed your mind for fear of being lost without it, then guess you are affected by the nomophobic syndrome as well. Surprised, but its true!

Addiction for drugs or alcohol has well been surpassed long back by this new development in the list of phobias.

Some reasons why people don’t want to switch off their cell phones:

Keeping in touch with friends or family is the main reason why they are so wedded to their mobile.

More than one in two said this is why they never switch it off.

One in ten said they needed to be contactable at all times because of their jobs, while 9 per cent said that having their phone switched off made them anxious.

Experts say nomophobia could affect up to 53 per cent of mobile phone users, with 48 per cent of women and 58 per cent of men questioned admitting to experiencing feelings of anxiety when they run out of battery or credit, lose their phone or have no network coverage.

This is true…The next time when you end up losing your cell phone’s charge, and are about to go into panic mode, then think again. You may be the next target for Nomophobia.