Are you in the category of individuals who pick up their phones as the first thing they check when they wake up? Are you always on social applications for long hours? Do you feel uneasy when you do not have your phone around even for a few hours? Well, well, well, I do not need a degree to diagnose your predicament if all the answers to these three questions are yes, yes, and Yes! You are NOMOPHOBIC.
Yes, I said Nomophobic. Nomophobia is a simple fear of not having your mobile phone around you to use. Recently, there has been a very strange phenomenon that is creeping into society. I find it truly amazing. If you enter a room full of teenagers, you would realize something very distinct about them. They all seem to be using their mobile phones everywhere. Where you would usually expect the normal awkward moment of, ‘hello, my name is Kwame, what’s yours?’ you would rather see two individuals seated beside each other with one using the Whatsapp application or Facebook or twitter. Talking to virtual friends and making virtual new friends you cannot see or touch and totally ignoring those seated right beside you.
Funny thing is that you as an individual reading this article are doing something that is fast diminishing in society. Unfortunately, like the latest fashion trends, nomophobia is fast rising amongst students in this ever growing global society. It has wormed its way into the minds of a very large scope of individuals and has unknowingly become a fad.
The exponential increase in addiction rose with the advent of social apps like Whatsapp, twitter and Facebook. Now hold on a second, these applications do come in very handy , no doubt about that, yet the youth of today are spending huge amounts of time chattering away on them; forgetting to build on themselves and improve.
Jan Koum and Brian Acton, who are the co founders of whatsapp, have very amazing life stories. Jan Koum used to do menial jobs as a teenager -cleaning, mopping and sweeping- to support his mother to make ends meet. He then decided to learn computer networking on his own using manuals from a used bookstore. And when he did get the idea of the app, It took him months of backbreaking work and effort to finally figure out how the whole thing fell in place. But the youth, prefer to spend months and even years of their lives on social applications that do not develop their skills or exponentially enhance their talents.
Exploring facts in engineering, I have come to see both the physical and mental implications of excessive usage of mobile phones. As regards health, the constant use of phones exposes you and me to very large amounts of non-ionizing radiation which can be absorbed by tissues nearest to where the phone is held.
This absorption causes the tissues on that side of the brain to produce a lot more glucose than normal. Although this glucose production has not been found to cause cancer- as there is no damage to DNA-it has been found to cause an imbalance in brain glucose levels and cause excessive heat. Believe it or not, microwave ovens work on this same principle of radio-frequency heating although on a much higher scale. i.e. you are ‘’mini-microwaving’’ your brain.
In Ghana now, out of every ten students, nine posses mobile phones. This literally puts the world at their fingertips; any information they need about anything on the planet is made available to them. This also means that 90% of the youth are susceptible to falling prey to mobile phone addiction.
Lately, the education system seems geared towards recall rather than a life of learning for growth and enhancement. Being nomophobic can affect individuals in a myriad of ways and the only way to break this phobia is by putting in measures of discipline as regards the use of time for mobile phones. Whether you decide to look at it in terms of physical implications or retardation of mental growth and stagnation in personal growth, the final decision rests with and on you. What measures would you take with this knowledge you have acquired? You are in charge of your life, choose wisely.
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