12 Jan How to beat Nomophobia
Nomophobia is the fear of being without technology, beyond the reach of the online world or mobile contact. Apparently, Generation Z increasingly even shower with their smartphone, so it’s on the rise. We have written about nomophobia before, how to identify it if you are struggling and what it even is, but we’re here to tell you now how to beat it.
In 2020 we spent more time than ever online. With a new lockdown announced in the UK, it looks like we are set to spend even more time online, staring down at our phones. In a world where our only connection is through screens, it’s no wonder that we are so terrified sometimes to be without them. However, nomophobia is not a healthy reaction to being away from our devices. If you want to beat your nomophobia for good, here are some strategies to get you on the right track.
Become less reliant
We feel anxious when we don’t have our phones because we have become so reliant on them. We’re anxious because we no longer have access to maps, digital banking, contacts, shopping lists, search engines and more. So, the first step in being able to cope without your smartphone is to make yourself more self-sufficient. A mere ten years ago the vast majority of us were happy to go out to the shops without a portable encyclopaedia, digital map and tick box shopping list – we had a relaxed approach, rolling with what came up rather than freezing and turning to our phones for guidance. If we could do it then, we can do it now. Why not:
- Write the shopping list down on a piece of paper and go on your weekly shop without a phone or
- Try a different walk in your neighbourhood without a phone to see what you discover, you could even
- Take some cash out and go out for the evening without your phone (when you’re allowed to do that of course in your part of the world!).
Very few activities really require a phone. Once you experience life occasionally without yours, we think you’ll be unlikely to turn back.
Practice, practice, practice
Another important step on the journey to overcoming nomophobia is to practice longer and longer periods of time of being without your phone. It would be easy to go to the shops without it once, experience the high of independence from technology and then revert to your old ways immediately. If you don’t want to be overcome by crippling dread each time your battery dies, you need to practice regularly. You could pick one of the suggestions previously mentioned and do it once a week or once a month as a way to keep your nomophobia at bay.
It will also undoubtedly prove to you that another aspect of nomophobia: the fear of being unreachable in a crisis, is incredibly unlikely to occur. The world can manage without you if you log off for an hour, especially if you tell them in advance.
Go cold turkey
If all else fails you and nomophobia is taking over your life we suggest going completely cold turkey. This could take many different forms depending on your lifestyle. You will know best what works. You could take a week off to reset. You could buy a ‘dumb’ phone to use on weekends, or when you are not working, as we have suggested in the past. If navigation is what causes you anxiety, you could buy a pocket sized map to carry with you. If it’s fear of being unreachable, you could rediscover your landline.
There are many ways to tackle nomophobia, different things will work for different people, but we hope you now have a few ideas you can get to work on. Take this year to tackle your fear and hopefully reduce one aspect of anxiety in 2021.