60-Second Mind

Mobile Phones Exert Emotional Pull

What's being called "nomophobia," the anxiety of not having your mobile phone with you, may be a real condition among teens, at least according to two recent studies out of South Korea, the world’s most connected nation. Larry Greenemeier reports


If the thought of leaving home without your mobile phone causes you to break out in a cold sweat, you could be suffering from a condition being called nomophobia—the fear of having no mobile phone.
The term was coined by the company SecurEnvoy—they do mobile phone security—so take it with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, a couple of recent surveys out of South Korea—the most connected nation in the world—indicate that an emotional dependence on one’s smartphone may be a real thing.
The first study, done by South Korea’s National Information Society Agency, found that one in four South Korean high school students is prone to smartphone addiction. That’s more than double the 11 percent estimated last year. A second study by the Seoul city government claims that one in 25 Seoul teens are at “high risk” for such dependence. That’s according to the Web site GlobalPost.
In response, the South Korean government may extend its midnight curfew for underage video gamers to include smartphone users as well. Perhaps parents worldwide can vaccinate their kids by taking them outside to play.

—Larry Greenemeier

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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