BANGALORE: Do you feel uneasy when your mobile phone is not on you? Do you feel your pocket often to check whether your phone is vibrating when it is actually not? If the answer is yes to both, you are probably suffering from nomophobia and ringxiety.
A recent study on “Mobile Phone Dependence by College Students” by a group of interns at the Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), Bangalore, reveals that the constant usage of mobile phones causes loss of sleep, and pain in the neck, ear and head among youngsters.
“Youngsters are increasingly getting killed in accidents while speaking on the cellphone. A girl was attacked by an autorickshaw driver while she was busy talking on the mobile phone. We were curious to know whether mobile phone usage is an addiction,” said Yashaswini, leader of the six-member group.
The other doctors involved are Astha Gupta, Pushpa Gowda, Swapna Ramaswamy, Vani H.C. and Vinutha Rangappa.
Professor and Head of Department of Psychiatry Raguram R. and Assistant Professors N.R. Ramesh Masthi, T.V. Sanjay and Gangaboraiah guided the group. The study was presented at a national conference organised by the Indian Public Health Association held in Bangalore recently.
The group chose students from 11 colleges including from Christ University, M.S. Ramaiah College, R.V. College of Engineering and Bangalore University.
The study revealed that 421 students (97 per cent) used the cellphones for making calls while 371 (85 per cent) used them to talk and send messages. Some 286 students (66 per cent) talked into their phones while walking and 148 (34 per cent) used cellphones during school hours. Some 52 per cent of students used mobile phones while driving and 44 per cent have tripped, bumped into someone or narrowly missed an accident.
Using the cellphones for a prolonged period, 292 persons (67 per cent) developed nomophobia and 280 were suffering from ringxiety. Being cut off from connectivity irritated 28 per cent while a sense of insecurity and loss enveloped 23 per cent. Some 22 per cent said they felt lonely without the cellphones.
Incessant phone usage led to 187 (43 per cent) students developing loss of sleep while 126 (29 per cent) had headache. Some 28 per cent had ear pain while 20 per cent suffered neck and thumb pain.