Do your students have nomophobia?

Nomophobia? What’s that? NO MObile phone phobia. There have been four significant studies which have revealed that people become stressed when they are separated from their phones. This doesn’t surprise me. Phones have contacts, messages, apps, weather information, pictures. Lots of pictures. Do we suffer from anxiety when we are separated from our wallets? Anything which has the things which are important to our identity are going to create a problem if we are separated from them.Students are brought up on mobile phones these days. They are familiar objects and they witness daily their significance. The article on the  Psychology Today  site which discusses the four research papers states:

My take is that we now have four different studies in four different labs using four different methodologies, all showing the same general effect: Our smartphones make us anxious and that anxiety then gets in the way of our performance and our relationships. Some call it FOMO—Fear of Missing Out—or nomophobia—Fear of being out of mobile phone contact or FOBO—Fear of Being Offline. Regardless of what you call it, this disorder is a manifestation of anxiety, plain and simple.

The article is well thought out because it looks and how you can become too attached to your smartphone and ways and means of dealing with it. It is a very comprehensive article for dealing with nomophobia. It confirms what the original Missouri University study confrmed. When people can see or hear their phones  but not access them their stress levels rise because they cannot deal with it. A smartphone has the planet changing activities every 5 minutes because of a mobile phone sound. This is Skinner and his rats all over again which is why the article in Psychology today looks at breaking that connection with your phone. Skinner taught pigeons to play ping pong with operant conditioning. What are we being taught with our bingly bongs and whistles?

nomophobiaNomophobia is explained really well on the whoishostingthis site and there is a really good infographic which brings to light some fascinating information with regard to mobile use and users.

The Huffington Post article, iPhone separation anxiety is real, study says by Damon Beres explains the video clip more fully.

All of this has implications for us as classroom teachers. I do not separate students and their phones unless 1. They are going to the toilet 2. They have used their phone for private purposes during class time. In both cases their phone is locked in my filing cabinet until they return to class or the lesson has finished. I prefer not to see phones on the desk but that is not always possible if they do not have a bag and their clothes don’t have suitable pockets. Phones on the desk have to be face down. My year 8s were especially good with their phones last year and so I could look more at a responsible use option and that is what I teach with mobile technology anyway. If they asked me and they could show me what they were doing, they could use their phones for French. Sometimes it was easier to run one app on the phone and something else on the iPad or they could take a picture of the board or  what they had made or written. I have just used my iPad to look things up while I am on my desktop writing this. We often use multiple devices . They should not be running our lives and we should not be snapping to attention if they make a sound. That is what we have to change.

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