Americans should work to overcome Nomophobia

By Rebecca DeLuna

Do you ever find yourself going through the motions, not saying a word to anyone and constantly cutting out the “real” connections that are right in front of you? Cell phones, tablets, iPads and computers have created a problem in our society.

One day, I was on my way to school. I forgot my phone and instantly went into a panic. What was I supposed to look at if I got to class early? What if I actually needed to call someone? How was I supposed to avoid awkward situations? All of those things ran through my mind. Nomophobia – the fear of being without your mobile phone or loosing signal – I had it big time.

After arriving at school, I later calmed down and was ready to see what the day had to offer. I began to count how many people were on their phones, how many people went through the motions of life and never even stopped to look up.

In my 10-minute walk to class I counted 50. Fifty. How was it possible that in such a short time period so many people had boxed themselves out from the world because they were stuck in the virtual world of their phone?

Shocked about this situation, which I had never realized before because I also did this daily, I began to pay attention to what a day on campus was like. I noticed that usually people above the average age of a student looked up from their mobile device and smiled or said hello. I noticed the true beauty that Ole Miss has to offer and how many little animals are on campus that I had never paid any attention to before.

I realized that by paying attention to the day and not constantly looking down at my phone to check the time or zone out made a huge difference in my attitude. I was in an amazing mood. I think I even smiled at some people. Even better, the school day passed faster than it ever had before.

How was I going to make everyone experience what I felt that day? How could I inform them that cellphones are toxic to verbal connections in society?

Starting with the price and numbers of how many people actually had a cell phone, I discovered that a majority of the American population had a mobile device, tablet, or computer. Most people actually have all three.

In 2012 Apple sold 340,000 phones per day, meaning that by the end of the year there were 124,100,000 iPhones sold alone. That was three years ago, and the phone consumption rate has still not declined.

Fear lies in the lack of verbal communication skills caused by social media. Kids are now starting to get cell phones or computers in first grade. At the age of 6, kids begin to cut out the world and escape to a game, or chatting online begins.

Some play dates for children have turned into virtual play dates, where kids play each other or chat online. This destroys some of the prime verbal connection that children need at a young age to grow and develop.

ABC News reports that people check their phone on average at least 150 times a day. Addiction to phone applications, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are checked 23 times.

Those facts just include cellphones. If you added computer usage and television, it would likely consume a majority of your day. No wonder our population lacks verbal communication. Why would you need to speak out loud if your mind was being stimulated all day?

Although social media and technology have improved our world in so many ways, it can also harm us. The only hope is that more people realize that everything life has to offer cannot be found in technology.

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