Are you worried about how much time you’ve been spending on your phone? Chances are, you’re not alone. One 2017 study found that on average, Americans spend five hours per day on their mobile device. The concept of smartphone addiction has been around for a while, and there is now a growing body of evidence that implicates a variety of harmful consequences for young people.
Related to this is an uptick in information regarding what happens to us when we cannot use our phone. Nomophobia is a term coined in 2010 by YouGov to refer to the fear of being without your cellphone (the "mo" stands for "mobile"). The idea is gaining more traction as research is being done to investigate the rising levels of anxiety that appear to surface when we don’t have access to our smartphones. Researchers at Iowa State University even published a paper in 2015 dedicated to learning more about nomophobia, including developing a questionnaire to help measure it.
Noticing similar trends, some industrialized countries have made strides in attempting to address smartphone addiction. Last year, France passed a law that protects workers from feeling obligated to respond to their devices after work hours, dubbing it the "right to disconnect."
While it seems unlikely that similar laws will be coming to the United States anytime soon, there are small but effective things we can do on a regular basis to chip away at our smartphone addiction and decrease our nomophobia.