Separation from iPhones makes users mentally withdrawn and highly anxious, study says


If you’ve been separated from your iPhone, then prepare to become more anxious and less intelligent.

So great has addiction to smartphones become, that humans have now developed genuine emotional attachments to them.

Indeed, recent research has revealed that iPhone users “pathologically fear” separation from their phones. Once separated, users become psychologically agitated and are less able to complete basic tasks.

According to a study published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, two groups were asked to do wordsearch puzzles. One group was separated from their iPhones, which they could then hear ringing. This group then did worse at the puzzle.

According to the paper, “heart rate and blood pressure increased, self-reported feelings of anxiety and unpleasantness increased.”

The authors said: “While these devices continue to facilitate relationship maintenance, the physical and emotional attachments humans have developed with cell phones have simultaneously increased.”

Mobile phone addiction is a recognised medical issue. Doctors describe the fear of separation from mobile devices as “nomophobia”.

The study points out that “young adults aged 18–24 send an average of 109.5 text messages per day, or roughly 3,200 texts each month, while also checking their cell phones 60 times a day.”

The strong attachment to smartphones could be due to the phone’s “capacity to provide information access, social interaction, and personal safety,” the authors contend. “One alternative explanation as to why people may become attached to their iPhone is the component of fear of missing out (FoMO), which is operationally defined as “the fears, worries, and anxieties people may have in relation to being out of touch with the events, experiences, and conversations happening across their extended social circles”.

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