The outbreak of smartphones and nomophobia upsurge

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By- Bhavyashree Chivukula

The technological warfare has seen a sudden upsurge in the market with the massive usage of smart phones. Every android phone is overtaking the previous one with better features, handling, and composition as a never ending wave in the social world. As per reports by venturebeat, “Newzoo: Smartphone users will top 3 billion in 2018, hit 3.8 billion by 2021”.  As per data by newzoo, “Around 38% of the global population are smartphone users expected to increase to 49% by 2021.”
While it connects people worldwide, making life easier by apps for connectivity, marketing, videography, blogging etc but it also brings with it some severe distressing phenomenon.

Statistics reveal 66% people being addicted to their smart phones with 194 billion apps being downloaded worldwide as per survey, 2018. The rise of “Nomophobia” no-mobile-phone-phobia) viz “fear of not having the phone with you” has taken a toll on more than half the population worldwide. This includes risk factors that have aggravated depression, anxiety, stress, ADHD (attention deficit hyper activity disorder),ringxiety, comparisons leading to binge eating, anorexia nervosa (women starving themselves to lose weight) lack of normal mental and physical growth in children and teenagers due to be deficiency in physical exercise and healthy diet, eye disorders like myopia, eye twitching and migraine is common amongst most people these days. As per sources, the average user touches their phone 2617 times a day.

There is yet another negative dimension to the increase in mobile phone usage particularly the misuse of technology like cyber bullying, cyber crimes like cyber stalking, child pornography by paedophiles, web hijacking, viruses, phising, cyber terrorism etc.
The game, ‘Blue whale challenge’ was originated in 2015 in Russia which resulted in the death of more than 50 teenagers in countries like US, India, Bangladesh, Russia etc up until the year 2018. This game was invented by a psychology student. As per the game, teenagers had to complete 50 tasks online in a span of two months specifically tasks like slitting one’s own arms, walking on the railway tracks alone, sitting alone in the edge of a cliff etc ultimately the last task being committing suicide. The person who invented this game was finally arrested but it led to the death of many innocent teenagers and this showcases how psychopaths influence teenagers worldwide by the cell phone, social media and internet being the only medium for deaths.

As reported in 31st may 2019 was the death of a 16 year old teenage boy who died of cardiac arrest while playing a game for 6 hours continuously, PUBG. Another 18 year old PUBG addict in Mumbai allegedly committed suicide when not allowed a new phone of Rs 36,000 by parents because he wanted to play the game. There are a few more deaths that took place not only due to the addiction to this game but the influence of people playing this game. Thousands of people simultaneously playing this game influence one another by no control on violence, behaviour or voice messages. The “Player Unknown Battleground-PUBG” matches are inclined towards killing as many people as possible in the game. While these games are common but the influence and imbalance in emotions within many children and teenagers has exceeded the limit out breaking devastating results. Similar situation has occurred in the past due to games like the “pass out challenge”, “The fire challenge (applying flammable liquid to their naked torso and set it aflame” etc.

However, the questionable part is the fact that underage children are given electronics, mobile phones and gadgets.  Six to seven year olds have smart phones in their hands and who are so fantasized by these objects that take away vital time off their tender years.  Significant number of teenagers influenced negatively by phones explains that they are clearly not in the state of mind to balance the usage of phones as per requirement. In this condition of high social media influx; it is important to recognize ways to curb the arising problems. The exceeding number of people who lack the ability to adapt to environment, because of the huge influence of tech world need to be restrained from phones to accustom themselves to practical everyday life.


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