NOMOPHOBIA – Time for a Digital Detox

Think back to the last time you misplaced your smartphone. Did you experience a mild state of panic until it was found? Some 73% of Americans say yes to that question. No wonder, seeing that the average American spends 2-4 hours a day on their phones. Many of us are so intimately attached to our phones that we feel them vibrating in our pocket when it’s not even there! Recent studies show links between smartphone usage and increased levels of anxiety, depression, loss of sleep, and increased risk of auto injury and death. So why is it so hard to put your phone down? Simply put, because we have trained our brains to need the fix of social media, the internet, texting, and email. In other words, it has become an addiction. The word “addiction” comes from a Latin term for “enslaved by” or “bound to.” Addiction is “craving for something intensely, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite adverse consequences.” If you can’t put that phone down you may have “NOMOPHOBIA (no mobile phobia),” the new term for a cell phone addict.

Here are a few symptoms of Nomophobiacs:
(1) A feeling of anxiousness when your phone battery gets low.
(2) You can’t leave the house without your phone.
(3) You feel annoyed when you can’t access your phone.
(4) Using your phone while driving, fully knowing it’s illegal and/or puts you and others lives at risk.
(5) While on vacation, you check your phone constantly for work related emails and updates.

If you experience any or all of these symptoms it may be time for a “digital detox.” In other words, turn the phone off and set it down! It’s sad to think that millions of Christians will spend more time on their phones today than they do in prayer and in God’s Word. America needs more people who are addicted to prayer, Bible study, and serving others. I wonder, what cute name could we give them? Oh, they already have one, the name is Christian, which means “Christ-like!” “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps” (I Peter 2:21).

To be addicted (devoted) to God requires a choice to do so followed by actions that will stimulate the brain to want more. Daily Bible reading, meditation, memorization, and being part of a good Church is a great place to start on the road to a good addiction!

“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:9-11).