Connectedness and the Call of Anxiety

A study suggests that more frequent mobile phone use might make you more anxious. This could reflect the burden of constant social connectedness, or even nomophobia –  the “no-mobile-phone phobia” of losing connection. But we shouldn’t forget that this is a clear chicken and the egg question….. Are devices making us anxious, or do people who are already anxious just use devices more frequently?



12 thoughts on “Connectedness and the Call of Anxiety

  1. Maybe it’s the chicken and the egg question, but I have no doubt that the frequent exposure of the head to the mobile phone has an impact. Interesting post. Heila

  2. I feel as though I am ‘anxious person who uses a mobile phone more frequently’ although it is often peoples ability to contact me about certain things that triggers the anxiety.
    But more then this I am able to contact a friend through Facebook or on the phone and talk and work through my feelings of anxiety I wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.

    1. great point – our devices offer all sorts of ways to get support when we need it. Some have argued that this can also be too much of a good thing – instant gratification means we don’t have to be alone with our thoughts and feelings. For kids growing up, the development towards self-reliance may have a foundation in some of that “struggling on your own.” But who knows? I’m pretty sure the jury is out.

    1. I’m only (shamingly) plugging my own blog here because its central purpose is to figure out the “for better or worse” question regarding technology. Check it out if you want!

  3. I think both things are at play here. We are an anxious people, and phones give us an outlet for our anxiety. i.e. “I’m nervous, so I’ll check my phone.” This in turn increases our anxiety, as we are constantly checking our phone and worried about being connected….a vicious cycle! Definitely thought provoking!

  4. I don’t use a cell phone, I used to be nice and calm, but now I’m anxious about not being part of the rest of the world. Everyone wants me to be anxious like they are. My individual preference is to be anxious in my own singular way.
    To answer the original question definitively: Of course cell phones make people more anxious.

  5. Will nomophobia still be an issue once we implant chips in our brains?
    Most predictions seem to be that we will be able to do this within the following decade.

    1. Good question! I think there will always be technical issues that could disrupt connection. So if in the future, we are truly, constantly connected via some cybernetic implant, then just imagine how disturbing disconnection would feel then.

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