So, how was your weekend? Did you take a few pauses to appreciate what’s around you, or were your eyes pretty much affixed to your smartphone much of the time?
Not so smart, probably. And maybe even diagnosable, now that the word “nomophobia” (fear of being out of mobile phone contact) is becoming part of the lingo in some circles.
The term appears to have been coined in recent years after a study demonstrated that more than half of British mobile phone users tended to become anxious if they misplaced their mobile phone, lost battery power, or found themselves in a location without coverage. Now the Newport Beach, Calif.-based Morningside Recovery Center announced this month that it has founded what it calls the “first ever recovery group” devoted to this problem.
A news release from the center, which has been in the news itself in California this year after state regulators accused it of improperly operating sober homes as drug treatment facilities, says nomophobia is a growing problem. The release mentions a 13% increase from a couple of years ago, but doesn’t specify where that number comes from, and our e-mailed request to a spokesperson for further information went unanswered.
Since many of our treatment center professional readers find themselves in the position of limiting clients’ access to technology while they are in treatment, I ask you: Is nomophobia something you’ve been aware of, and do you think the concept should be taken seriously?