The Age of Isolated Zombies

The Age of Isolated Zombies
Fecha de publicación: 
27 February 2023

Nomophobia is called the fear of being without a mobile phone or disconnected from Internet. And a lot of us thought it was a simple obsession, but no, it's very serious. It’s a serious problem of addiction, there are people who require psychological monitoring because they cannot maintain a life away from these devices and postpone physical contact.

It’s true that they are very useful. There’s nothing like having at your fingertips the possibility of locating someone on the other side of the world, finding quick information, locating yourself on a map in real time, buying online, having fun. All this, and more, is offered to us by a device that captures our attention more than the ones we love. We constantly look at it, touch it, ask questions. Who has not turned it on without having a goal?

We never had a dependency like this on a device before. It’s similar to what people addicted to virtual computer games or similar feel, but not even many hours in front of these sorts of screens are compared to what happens to us with smartphones. They seem like an extension of our body, we don't lose sight of it even in the bathroom, we sleep with it very close, and it's what we look for first thing in the morning because it wakes us up. Like a relationship.

They are designed to captivate us, to offer us everything we think we need, and, on top of that, they surprise us, dazzle us. Its creators do it in the most attractive possible way. The goal is to catch. And they do it so well! But, like everything, without measure affect both mental health and our way of interacting with others. And when we are supposed to be more helpful, in reality we are more isolated, even with those by our side.

The issue is Internet. It’s what has half humanity crazy. Sometimes I think we have lost, a little, the ability to socialize. I corroborate it when we prefer to chat rather than talk face to face; when we eat looking at the phone and not at the plate while it’s supposed that, as before, at that sacred moment we talked about the day with our family; the same happens to pedestrians and drivers, with huge risk. We have a life within that virtual universe that is shown on social networks, in games, in chat rooms.

It’s a silent behavior and in crescendo. It usually affects, above all, children, adolescents, and young people, although there are also adults who cannot detach themselves, no matter how conscious they are; and that is when it begins to affect productivity and compromise the social being. We can identify it when we notice that it interferes with communication; that is, if someone is not able to put him aside, normally and without pressure, during a conversation. Also if you turn to it all the time, even without notifying sounds on the phone; or if you show an unhealthy fear of running out of battery or coverage.

While our daily life advances every day towards an increase in technology in all the processes of our lives, the important thing seems to be able to dominate that seduction that invades us, and turn to the phone, just enough; because the problem is not using it, the issue is that it does not become a difficulty, that it does not interfere with interpersonal relationships and responsibilities.

For the detoxification of children and adolescents, it’s necessary to demand behavior. When cordial conversation does not work to make people understand that there’s a world beyond the digital one, and they show an obfuscated response along with the denial of the problem, there’s nothing left but to force them to put away the mobile phone during family gatherings, friends, or at school. It’s also valid to rely on some measures such as silencing notifications to go to him by choice and not every time it notifies you. How to do it? Setting limits on time and places.

The emotional closeness is so great that mastering it is quite difficult. It can become physical, and that’s its most critical phase. Nomophobic people sometimes experience anxiety, palpitations, low body temperature, headache or stomach flutter, when they find themselves without their precious gadget. And it’s true that it’s a tool to improve our quality of life, but getting to this point as if it were alcoholism? That already shows a lack of self-control and it’s time to act.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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