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Warning signs you’re suffering from 'overlooked' nomophobia addiction

Warning signs you’re suffering from 'overlooked' nomophobia addiction

Do you show any of these signs?

It's easy to become a little too reliant on our smartphones - sometimes it feels like if you don't have your phone in your pocket, you're basically helpless.

In fact, some experts suggest that this fear of being without our smartphone could actually be a type of phobia - like arachnophobia, which denotes a fear of spiders - or even become a full-on addiction.

Well, that's the argument being made by one group advocating for people to consciously spend less time on their phones, called Time To Log Off.

Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty
Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty

Research suggests that 66% of UK smartphone owners display some signs of 'nomophobia'. This is the fear of being without your mobile phone, and the group argues there are five key signs you can watch out for to see if you're too dependent on yours:

  1. You start to feel anxious if your phone's battery runs low.
  2. You can't leave the house without your phone.
  3. Being unable to access your phone makes you annoyed.
  4. You put your life or others' lives at risk to check your smartphone.
  5. You use your phone to check for work updates while on holiday.

And we can't lie, number four is pretty shocking - it could mean something like checking your phone while driving, which is an absolute no-no but still does happen.

Many of the others are things that plenty of us do, whether it's feeling compelled to refresh your work inbox while sitting by a pool in Bali, or sneaking a look at your messages in the middle of a booming IMAX movie.

The idea that we can get addicted to our phones hasn't exactly cropped up in the last few months, though - it's been floating around for years.

paul mansfield photography / Getty
paul mansfield photography / Getty

Back in 2022, the New York Times wrote a big piece on the topic, and was told by Dr Anna Lembke, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, that "there is a growing number of mental health specialists who recognize that people can get addicted to their smartphones".

Thankfully, there are at least now some tools that are easy to access if you think you're overly dependent on your phone and want to cut back.

On iPhones, for example, Apple's Screen Time feature, which can be accessed in Settings, will tell you how much time you spend on your phone each day, and has loads of timers and restrictions you can set up to encourage you to cut down on certain apps.

Featured Image Credit: Adam Hester / Georgijevic / Getty