Nomophobia disorder

Are you suffering from nomophobia. The condition is a separation anxiety of sorts.

If you hate turning your phone off and the sight of a low-battery signal sends you into a cold sweat, you might have nomophobia or no mobile phobia.

But it turns out, you’re in good company. A recent study suggests nearly 66 per cent of the population depends on their smartphone to keep their psychological wellbeing intact-and in some cases being without the phone can lead to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. The disorder affects 70 per cent of women and 61 per cent of men.

So who else is at risk? One Hong Kong study found that people who use their phones to store, share, and access personal memories (photographs etc.) suffer most; the more emotionally connected a person is to the information on their phone, the more attached they are to it.

Users perceive smartphones as their extended selves and get attached to the devices and experience feelings of anxiety and unpleasantness when separated from their phones.

There are things you can do to help. You can separate yourself from your phone by leaving it home or turning it off can begin to reduce dependency.

A study shows that Wi-Fi signals could potentially damage sperm and stop them from moving, leading to fertility issues in men. Scientists note that more research is needed before any conclusions can be drawn, but in the meantime, it couldn’t hurt for guys to keep devices off their laps.

Staring at a computer screen for hours at a time isn’t doing your eyes any favors: doing so can lead to computer vision syndrome, with symptoms including eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision. To alleviate problems, try to reduce glare on your monitor, blink often, and take frequent breaks.

Hand specialists in the US have reported a rise in tendinitis of the thumbs due, they say, to an increase in cell phone and computer use. And the frenetic pace at which the users are routinely texting (not to mention the probability of running into each other as they focused so intently on texting that they seem oblivious of the surroundings) can result in carpel tunnel syndrome warning signs of the condition include tingling or numbness. If you have an afflicted finger, help it heal by resting it or with physical therapy.

While those addicted to the mobile phone are causing themselves harm, they are a constant source of danger to others also. And I am not sure the Government is doing enough to rectify the situation. While it constantly cautions the mobile phone users on the media, the warnings seem to have negligible impact. I still see so many drivers on the mobile phones. The LTA is perceived as a paper tiger — ineffectual in imposing strict measures to eliminate, or at least alleviate this type of irresponsible behaviour.

I do not know what the penalty is for using the mobile phones while driving but it seems largely inadequate. An effective deterrent would be to confiscate the phone and charge a hefty fine to get the phone back. There should be more police presence on the roads. The cost of the additional police presence can be easily offset by the fines as long the police are doing their job in an honest and diligent manner.