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What is nomophobia? The official definition is: an abnormal, irrational fear of being without one’s mobile device, or being unable to communicate using one’s mobile device.

I don’t experience this….

I can hear you say: ‘I don’t have that problem’. Let’s see:

  • What do you do when the battery of your smartphone is almost empty at the start of the day and you forgot your charger?
  • What do you do if you are on the way and you find out you have forgotten your mobile phone?
  • What do you do in a spare minute and you have your phone nearby (and not a computer or tablet with internet)?
  • What is your reaction when your smartphone says ‘ping’ or something equivalent?
  • What is the first thing you pick up in the morning and the last thing you put down at night?
  • How does it feel if you know you can’t be reached?

Changes are big that you suffer from nomophobia, or: you are addicted to your smartphone. This can be quite severe. Research shows that 1 in 5 young people use their smartphone during sex, 1 in 3 people use it behind the wheel.

Even you are not at that level yet, chances are big that you are:

  • wasting your time
  • becoming more anxious
  • don’t sleep very well

Five tips

I have 5 tips for you to help you overcome nomophobia.

  1. Turn off your smartphone at least an hour before bed
  2. Use an alarm clock to wake you up instead of your smartphone
  3. Check your phone at fixed times
  4. Install phone free zones and/or times
  5. Go for real contact instead of giving a ‘like’ to someone’s status

Nomophobia can have a big influence on the progress of your PhD. Just imagine you are using all the time you spent on your smartphone on your research, what difference would that make? Maybe you could consider a digital detox.




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