Have you ever found yourself scrolling through an ebook—only to discover that what you actually had in your hand was a print book?
Do you wake up in the middle of the night broken out in a sweat because you don’t know where your phone is?
Do you feel like you are missing a limb when you leave your smartphone at home?
Does it seem like if you haven’t posted it on Instagram or Facebook, it hasn’t happened?
Have you ever pinch-zoomed an actual photograph?
If you found yourself agreeing with one or more of these statements, you might have nomophobia (no-mobile-phone-phobia).
Let’s face it: smartphones and other mobile devices have become more omnipresent in society than ever before, and it happened fast. The Pew Research Center determined that while in 2011 only 35% of American adults had smartphones, by 2015, 68% of adults had them.
Now, it’s worth saying that dependence on mobile devices as means of connecting is not all bad. After all, our phones and tablets are incredible tools, helping share those baby pics with faraway relatives and friends, giving us directions between point A and point B while our toddler screams in the backseat, helping us decide whether that rash or cough is bad enough to call the doctor about this time. Our smartphones help us manage our chaotic calendars and keep our entire family coordinated. Our devices help reduce loneliness, which can be huge particularly when our kids are little. (When my daughter was a baby, I had almost no nearby friends, but being able to message faraway mom friends and get encouragement and advice was a lifesaver!) Our devices help us maintain connections with our older children as they begin to spread their wings. They help us get through long flights with fussy little ones (thank you, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!). They give us information and encouragement that previous generations could have only dreamed of having at their fingertips.
But, of course, too much of a good thing isn’t such a good thing. It’s time sit up and pay attention if your dependence is beginning to affect your mental health. For a study published in 2015, researchers from Iowa State University first gathered qualitative data on individuals’ emotional reaction to not having their phone present and then used that data to develop a questionnaire for a wider group. They asked participants to rate on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) the truth of statements about being without their smartphones that made reference to fear, anxiety, discomfort, annoyance, nervousness, and the like. This questionnaire seemed to identify where smartphone users were beginning to venture into the problematic nomophobia zone with pretty decent accuracy. Scores upwards of 66 reflected a mild nomophobia, while scores of 100 or more indicated a more severe manifestation.
In 2013, internet security company Lookout partnered with Sprint to put together a survey on cell phone usage habits. The survey found that 63% of participants check their cell phones at least once per hour and the same amount agreed that they would be upset if they left their phone at home.
Most people want to have a healthy relationship with technology, but just might not have the tools to do so. They might not know where to start or fear they won’t be able to follow through.
The battle for good boundaries with our devices has an ally in Kudoso. Many parents think of Kudoso as a tool to help set boundaries for screen time and to protect their children from objectionable content. But the same tools could be used to set boundaries for parents too.
Using its unique hardware-and-software combination, Kudoso allows you to set limits on more devices than any other product on the market. It allows you to easily monitor, control, and limit screen time daily, across all the electronics in your home. Its powerful user reports can help you not only visualize your child’s activity in real time but also become more mindful of your own.
Kudoso loves technology, but knows that even good things need limits. That’s why Kudoso will help you “keep tech in check!”
by Rebecca Florence Miller, Kudoso Kontributor