Saturday, February 18, 2012

Yet Another Entry for DSM-V: Nomophobia?

From The Indian Journal of Community Medicine, a study by Dixit, Shukla, et. al.

Nomophobia(1) literally means no mobile phobia that is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. If a person is in an area of no network, has run out of balance or even worse run out of battery, the persons gets anxious, which adversely affects the concentration level of the person. In recent times there seems to have been a transformation of the cell phone from a status symbol to a necessity because of the countless perks that a mobile phone provides like personal diary, email dispatcher, calculator, video game player, camera and music player.(2) Indian market has emerged as the second-largest market after China for mobile phone handsets. Our study was undertaken to find out the prevalence of nomophobia in the Indian scenario considering the tremendous increase in the number of mobile phone users in the past decade. We decided to conduct the study in our college since the younger generation is the latest consumer of the mobile phones, and the under 25 year age group in professional colleges like medical colleges use mobile phones quite frequently since most of them reside in hostels. Day scholar students too want to be in constant touch with their family members and friends since they are out of their homes for the whole day and at nights while studying in colleges and working in hospitals.

The study goes on to say:

A study from United Kingdom on 2163 people revealed that 53% of the subjects tend to be anxious when they lose their mobile phone, run out of battery or credit or have no network coverage. The study found that about 58% of men and 48% of women suffer from the phobia, and an additional 9% feel stressed when their mobile phones are off. About 55% of those surveyed cited keeping in touch with friends or family as the main reason that they got anxious when they could not use their mobile phones.(1) A study conducted by Market Analysis and Consumer Research Organization (MACRO) in Mumbai to study the various patterns and association of mobile phone usage reported that 58% of the respondents could not manage without a mobile phone even for a day.(2)