''*NOMOPHOBIA*'' FOR 2018 - 2019 ?*

HONG KONG - LAST YEAR,  Nomophobia became the Cambridge Dictionary's word of the year, which means a fear or worry at the idea of being without your mobile phone or unable to use it.

So basically, it is that feeling you get when you enter the bathroom and realise your phone is in the bedroom.

The word phobia, of course, means fear, while  mo stands for mobile phone. In other words,  nomophobia can be understood as no mobile phone phobia and it's certainly a timely word.

recent surveys have shown that people use their smartphones more than five hours per day on average and the  iPhone  rolled out its  'Screen Time feature-which offers  real-time data about your smartphone use-in 2018.

Psychologists have been talking about  Internet addiction since the early days of the worldwide web and the American Psychiatric Association recommended that ''Internet gaming disorder'' be studied more closely in 2013.

However, medial literature doesn't specifically mention smartphone addiction, which is what the term nomophobia seems to imply.

According to  Yale School of Medicine Psychiatry & Neuroscience Professor Dr. Marc Potenza, the two predominant mental disorder manuals tend to focus on specific behaviors rather than the method of delivery.

Still, nomophobia is popping up more frequently in scientific studies, Researchers from the  City University of Hong Kong and Sungkyunkwan  University titled their 2017 paper on the phenomenon  ''Understanding Nomophobia.''

''When users perceive smartphones as their extended selves, they are more likely to become attached to the devices, which, in turn, leads to nomophobia by heightening the phone proximity-seeking tendency,'' researchers wrote in the abstract of their study, which was published in the journal  Cyberpsychology, Behavior & Social Networking.

As the  ''people's word of 2018,'' nomophobia was chosen by the public in a poll. It beat out the three other shortlisted words that the good people at Cambridge Dictionary felt best summarised the year for better or worse.

The others were ecocide, no-platforming and gender gap. [Courtesy MSN.Com]


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