This next question could determine whether or not you have a newly-discovered disorder: Do you check your cellphone for text messages and voicemails every few minutes? If the answer’s “yes,” you could be suffering from Nomophobia, yhat’s short for “No mobile phone phobia,” which means you’re extremely scared of being away from your phone. It may sound bizarre, but a new study found that a growing number of people are full-blown Nomophobics, and it’s jeopardizing their personal and professional lives.
Researchers had volunteers complete a questionnaire that asked things like, “How many times a day do you check your phone?” and “How do you feel when your phone temporarily doesn’t have service?” The result? 66% of people were Nomophobes, and needed to be around their cellphone at all times.
But what seems like a harmless habit can lead to major real life problems if you’re ignoring the world around you. Dr. David Greenfield is the founder of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction. And he says that every time you look at your phone, your brain is flooded with feel-good dopamine. And you become addicted to the rush, and want to keep feeling it, so you check your phone more and more, no matter where you are or who you’re with, and that could be dangerous if you’re say meeting with your boss, or driving your car.
So, be on the lookout for the warning signs of Nomophobia, like, you look at your phone every few minutes, and you bring it with you everywhere, including the bathroom. If that’s you, use your friends and family to help you control your impulses. Tell them not to let you look at it when you’re eating together, and have them help you break your habit so you can focus on what’s happening in real life.