Study: People cannot last a minute without checking phones


MANILA, Philippines - Nomophobia or fear of being without your smartphone is plaguing both men and women. In fact, a recent study conducted showed that both could not last a minute without touching their smartphones.

To further understand how depended people are to their smartphones, researchers from the University of Nottingham Trent and University of Würzburg, placed selected participants in a room for ten minutes. During which, they measured how long women and men can last without checking on their smartphones.

Result showed that on average, men can last only for 21 seconds while women can last 57 seconds. Participants used their smartphone on average for almost half the time (five minutes). But why? Why can't we resist not touching that smartphone?

Apparently most of us have FOMO, or fear of missing out on something when not online. People that use their phone more intensely admitted to a higher level of FOMO.

“The more participants use their phone, the more they are afraid they’re missing out when they aren’t accessing it. It is difficult to say which attribute fuels which – do people use their phone more because they are afraid of missing something, or is it because they use it so much that they worry they are missing out,” Astrid Carolus, from the University of Würzburg continues.

A separate study published in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication revealed  people develop anxiety when people miss a phone call - faster heart rate, rise in blood pressure and sweating.

Smartphones are enormously useful, but they pose consequences, too such as diminishing cognitive performance. Previous research by Kaspersky Lab demonstrated that we rely heavily on mobile devices these days as an extension of our brains, using them as tools so we don’t have to remember facts anymore.

Jens Binder from the University of Nottingham Trent said, “The experiment suggests that people are far more attached to these devices than they realize and it has become second nature to turn to our smartphones when left alone with them. We do not just wait anymore. The immediacy of information and interactions delivered through our smart devices make them much more of a digital companion and connection to the outside world than a piece of technology.”

- Alixandra Caole Vila

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