With access to thousands of applications and the internet right in the palm of our hands, it is no surprise that there is a rise in online addiction. “Nomophobia” is a new word that is used to describe the phobia of not having your mobile device with you, or even cringing at the thought of not having your phone. For example, if you accidentally drop your phone on the ground and the screen shatters into hundreds of pieces, you may develop symptoms of anxiety.
In a recent study conducted by Adam Alter, teens and young adults were asked if they would rather break a small bone in their hand, or watch their phone break into pieces. For some, the answer to this question may seem pretty straightforward, but the results were surprising. Between 40 and 50 percent respondents said that they would rather break a small bone in their hand, than be without their phone for an extended period of time. Some participants reasoned that they could still use their cell phone if the broken bone wasn’t in their dominant hand, allowing them to keep scrolling while the other hand healed. However, the fact that some people are willing to accept physical harm in exchange for the safety of their own phone shows that the addiction to cellular devices is a serious issue.
The definition of behavioral addiction is described as an experience in which people compulsively repeat because it provides short-term satisfaction, but it harms their own well-being in some way over a period of time. It is easy to become addicted to that momentary feeling of fulfillment, which comes from posting something online to get likes, comments, retweets, shares, etc., but over time, this may hinder friendships or relationships. From spending quality time together, to learning how to effectively solve issues, communicating with one another face-to-face is vital for personal growth and overall happiness.