Headline May 26, 2016/ ''' SMARTPHONE SEPARATION *ANXIETY* '''



BANGKOK -THAILAND    -just two days ago, young and angelic, 18 girls/students got burnt to cinders in a dormitory fire. With many times more burnt and injured.

The World Students Society  -lovingly called, !WOW! -mourns and shares this loss with the people of Thailand. Saddened beyond measure, I turn to put the light on. 

EVERYBODY LOCKED ON TO   -their cell phone screens. Chinese, Malayans, Indians, Iraqis, Libyans, Pakistanis, Indonesians, Thailanders, Australians, Arabs and on and on,.......I can go.

* It seems to me, something I only now understand, that  Students/people  use devices the way children use pacifiers*.

This is the 37th  floor, of a very beautiful setting.  Lights blink and glitter. I can see the Petronas Towers, Sime Derby, all the bank signs and the ripples of the swimming pool, as the  swimmers dive in.

This is beautiful Malaysia, and its most gentle, kind and caring people. All at their very very best. From my last abode at the  *Orion Condo*,  on Jalan Abdul Rezzak road, the staff bid me a touching farewell. Their tutorials, kindness and care very dear to my heart and memories.

I stretch my weary legs, moan and sigh, having walked a very long distance in the heat. *I Curse my ownself, my poverty and our Leaders! *

DR LARRY ROSEN  -an expert on the  *psychology behind technology* wrote in an article for U.S. based publication  Psychology Today that:
''Our smartphones make us anxious and the anxiety then gets in the way of our performance and our every single relationships.  

Countless studies show that people are switching from one task to another every three to five minutes-

And the stimulus for those switches is, most often,  an alert or notification from their omnipresent smartphone. I realise that we are all facing a very difficult task, of disentangling ourselves from an affliction that is rapidly approaching an anxiety disorder.'' 

Checking your social media feed even before you get out of bed, writes Huda Tabrez, not being able to resist the lure of the notification light or hearing your cell phone ring even when no one is calling.....-

Heavy users of mobile phones are often very aware of their level of dependence on their devices. What they might not be aware of  -or comfortable in accepting -is that if they were separated from their phones, they would end up suffering anxiety.

A 2015 study conducted by the University of Missouri, US, found that cell phone separation had serious psychological and physiological effects on iPhone users, including poor performance on cognitive tests.

''The results from our study suggest that iPhones are capable of becoming an extension of ourselves such that when separated, we experience a lessening of  'self'  and a negative physiological state,'' Russell Clayton- a doctoral candidate at the  Missouri School of Journalism in the US, and lead author of the study, said in an official statement from the university.

While some users we spoke to did not agree that they suffered from phone separation anxiety, a Gulf News Twitter Poll showed slightly different results. When asked how long they could stay away from  their phones without feeling anxious, only a quarter said they could do so for over five hours.

Almost a third could not make it for an hour and around  1 in 10 conceded that its was impossible for them to be away from their phones.
''I think everybody has gone through this in the smartphone era''. You get very anxious, especially when you are expecting an important message.

For one stay at home mom, having it around can lead to obsessive checking : ''I use Facebook really late at night because that's the time I can really sit with my phone.

If I've checked my phone at  10:30 pm, I'll check again at 10.35pm. And then it gets worse, from five to three to every two minutes, I keep checking. And then I realise    -It's not like people constantly post updates and it's not like every post is great, right?  I'm just bored and I'm trying to fill my time with this,'' she said  

As someone who works in the field of Information Technology (IT) Malcolm Fernandes has observed the negative effects of obsessive gadget use on the minds and bodies of people around him. He makes sure that he does not use social media on the device.

''If I have stepped out of the house and reached somewhere, and realise I don't have my phone with me, I just have to go back and get it. The fact that I am unable to receive any messages or calls does make me feel anxious,'' he said.

While people can present the argument  that being away from one's phone can affect their work, Fernandez felt that was simply, simply an excuse.
''That's something that I'm trying to discipline myself on. These things can easily be done, it just needs discipline.

It's not really mandatory to be on your phone if you're a professional. I am an IT guy, so if anyone would argue that it was necessary for work, it would be me. But I realize the dangers of it   -I can see a child and his father not communicating because they are on their devices'' he added.

If you don't know how heavy a user  you are, download one of the many apps that monitor how often you check your phone in a day. 

The results might surprise you and it might just be first step-to-finding a solution for a problem you never thought you had.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society and  !E-WOW! the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Feel-Good Factor '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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