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Description: Do you know anyone (including yourself) who you think might be addicted to their smartphone? They cannot put it down or they cannot bear to be separated from it and they must return home and get it immediately if they forget it. There are some suggestions that smartphone addiction should be considered for addition to the DSM (the manual used to diagnose mental disorders). Research reported that in the early days of the Covid pandemic, peoples’ cell phone use jumped 70% and a more recent study suggested that usage increased further than that for 40% of Canadian users over the past year. Sounds like addiction, right? Well, not so fast! Think about alternative hypotheses. If people drank a LOT more water during a heat wave would it make sense to say they are addicted to water? Once you have thought a bit about alternative explanations and formed a few hypotheses, read through the article linked below to see what some Psychologists have suggested.

Source: Does being away from your smartphone cause you anxiety? The fact that it makes you available 24/7 may be the reason. Wuyou Sui and Anna Sui, The Conversation.

Date: September 1, 2021

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Article Link:

So, what do you think? Should we add Nomophobia to the list of DSM disorders? Or does it make sense to note the roles played by employer demands and other issues that are simply taking advantage of smartphone functionality. As with many technological advances, the new reality is complex and  requires reflection and rushing to add to the DSM’s list of issues may not be a good idea (yet).

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Do you think it is possible for people to be addicted to their smartphones?
  2. Should smartphone use be regulated?
  3. What other variables should be considered, if any, before advancing the position that smartphone addiction should be added to the DSM?

References (Further Reading):

Djalante, R., Lassa, J., Setiamarga, D., Sudjatma, A., Indrawan, M., Haryanto, B., … & Warsilah, H. (2020). Review and analysis of current responses to COVID-19 in Indonesia: Period of January to March 2020. Progress in Disaster Science, 6, 100091. Link

Yildirim, C., Sumuer, E., Adnan, M., & Yildirim, S. (2016). A growing fear: Prevalence of nomophobia among Turkish college students. Information Development, 32(5), 1322-1331. Link

Ayar, D., Gerçeker, G. Ö., Özdemir, E. Z., & Bektas, M. (2018). The effect of problematic internet use, social appearance anxiety, and social media use on nursing students’ nomophobia levels. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 36(12), 589-595. Link

Bragazzi, N. L., & Del Puente, G. (2014). A proposal for including nomophobia in the new DSM-V. Psychology research and behavior management, 7, 155. Link

Yildirim, C., & Correia, A. P. (2015). Exploring the dimensions of nomophobia: Development and validation of a self-reported questionnaire. Computers in Human Behavior, 49, 130-137. Link

Mendoza, J. S., Pody, B. C., Lee, S., Kim, M., & McDonough, I. M. (2018). The effect of cellphones on attention and learning: The influences of time, distraction, and nomophobia. Computers in Human Behavior, 86, 52-60. Link

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