Nomophobia

Nowadays we are surrounded by technology, we use it all day long through computers, tablets, social networks, mobiles and television.

When we talk about nomophobia we refer to cell phone addiction. It is a problem that is increasing among the youngest members of the family.

The term nomophobia could be defined as the irrational fear of leaving home without a cell phone. Research carried out in the United Kingdom in 2011 by the AppRiver analysis group showed that more than half of the sample suffered anxiety attacks when they lost their phone or when they ran out of battery or coverage.

Does this happen to children? Fortunately or unfortunately, parents are role models for their children and, therefore, some of their children’s behavior is a reflection of their parents’ behavior. Therefore, if there are parents who spend all day on their cell phones, or hooked to social networks, their children receive the input that this behavior is appropriate. It is possible, sooner or later, that their children will end up adopting the same behavior.

Nowadays, children are increasingly precocious when they get their first phone. Sometimes it is a simple whim or because he is the only one in the class who does not have one. In others it is due to a decision by the parents themselves to be able to locate their children more easily. Should a child have a cell phone? Many factors are involved in this decision. The best recommendation is the use of the cell phone at specific times and at limited hours. In other words, set a timetable for use. In the same way, parents themselves should also adopt the same behavior to set an example to their children on the proper use of new technologies.

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What is clear is that the main problem is the limits they have when using them. If we let them have unlimited access, it is more likely to generate a dependency. Therefore, the best option is to combine the time children spend in front of a screen, whether it is a television, cell phone, tablet or computer, with educational games and other types of activities that have nothing to do with technology.

This article is written by Dr. Sasot and psychologist Carles Patris of the Centre Psicopediàtric Guia