Sputnik Smartphone separation anxiety is becoming a real problem, according to researchers at the City University of Hong Kong and the Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul. There’s even a real term to describe that anxiety you feel when you can’t find your phone for five minutes: “nomophobia.” According to the scientists, the panic that people experience when they can’t access their phone has nothing to do with making or receiving phone calls. Instead, people get anxious because mobile devices are so technologically advanced, and those who use them, feel they are part of their personal identity. And although the limited study only used a small sample size of 300 students in South Korea, the researchers believe their results show that smartphone separation anxiety will only increase.
After analyzing survey responses, researchers used semantic techniques to determine that words related to memory and self like “memory,” “I,” “my,” “to me” and “part” were frequently used by individuals with high nomophobia levels. Separating from a cell phone may be difficult, but you’ll get smarter without it. A McCombs School of Business study published earlier this year in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research revealed that merely having a smartphone next to you decreases cognitive functioning, even if the phone is switched off or placed face-down. Simply placing your phone in a different room can boost your cognitive capacity.