We may not like to admit it, but lots of us suffer from nomophobia, which is defined as a fear or anxiety of not having a mobile device or not having access to a mobile device when it’s needed. It has also been more broadly described as the fear of feeling disconnected from the digital world, and a growing body of research shows more and more people are being plagued by this fear. If you feel like you’re struggling with nomophobia, here are some creative ways to combat it.
Write a letter instead of texting: One of the deep fears underlying the fear of not having a working smartphone is losing connection with someone. Before we had smartphones, we had other ways of connecting with people– writing letters or a postcard!
Try a few minutes of meditation instead of checking social media: We often go to browse our phones by default, but by choosing a different non-phone activity, like a deep breathing or a simple focused meditation, you can decrease your attachment to your phone.
Give yourself assignments of longer and longer periods of time being away from your phone: First, pick a time you normally check social media or are on your phone surfing the web. Instead, read a magazine or book or draw a picture for one to two minutes instead of being on your phone. Over the next few weeks, increase this period to five minutes and then 10 minutes a day and so on. Over time, more intentional time away from your smartphone will decrease your dependence on it.
Let your battery drain to zero — within reasonable, safe circumstances. If your phone’s dead, there’s no way you’ll be using it.
Don’t jump to using your phone to look up every detail right away: If you and your friends can’t remember the name of that actor or movie at dinner and instinctively reach for your phone to look it up, perhaps wait, enjoy dinner, and give everyone a chance to think of it later.
Schedule more time with family and friends in person: Finding ways to connect directly to people is more satisfying than through a device and can show you why your nomophobia is so unneeded.