What is ‘Nomophobia’? You may relate why it is chosen ‘People’s Word of 2018’

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New Delhi | Updated: December 1, 2018 2:39:43 PM

Nomophobia tells that people around the world probably experience this type of anxiety enough that you recognized it needed a name.

Nomophobia means a fear or worry at the idea of being without your mobile phone or unable to use it. (Representational photo: Thinkstock)

Nomophobia, a word which resembles a human behaviour in the shortest possible way, would now probably discussed more as it has been chosen by voting as the ‘People’s Word of 2018’ by Cambridge Dictionary. According to a blog post by Cambridge Dictionary, fans of online Cambridge Dictionary voted for the word that they believe best sums up the year 2018.

Nomophobia means a fear or worry at the idea of being without your mobile phone or unable to use it, states the blog.

Cambridge editors chose the word out of the four short-listed after from this year’s new additions by looking at which ones were most popular. Cambridge blog readers and social media followers voted for the most popular.

Blog also said that Nomophobia tells that people around the world probably experience this type of anxiety enough that you recognized it needed a name! Like many modern coinages, the blog said, nomophobia is what’s called a blend: a new word made up of syllables from two or more words, in this case ‘no mobile phone phobia.’

Nomophobia’s earliest known use was in 2008 by YouGov researchers, in a report commissioned by the UK Post Office. Eventually, it began to appear in UK media and has since spread around the globe. Earlier this year, it was added to the online Cambridge Dictionary.

Moreover, researchers have identified ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO) and ‘fear of being offline’ (FOBO) as irrational fears that are emerging amongst Gen Z (those born after 1995) due to digital toxification.

There is no denying over the fact that smartphones have indeed positively influenced various aspects of life, however, the technology has also had negative effects such as overuse, dependence, and addiction. A 2017 study had found that personal memories evoked by smartphones encourage users to extend their identity onto their devices.

As a result separation from smartphones is found to cause increases in heart rate, anxiety, blood pressure, and unpleasant feelings, the study revealed. It also said that the nomophobia may serve as an indicator of a social disorder or phobia for individuals with a strong dependency on communication through virtual environments, research suggested. Researchers had also warned that as the technology becomes even more personalised and people tend to grow ever more reliant upon it, smartphone separation anxiety will become a bigger and bigger issue for people in the future.

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