|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 29-32
Prevalence of nomophobia among college students: An exploratory cross-sectional survey
Saksham Bajaj1, Sushil Kumar Maheshwari2, Preksha Sharma Maheshwari3
1 Nursing Officer, State Health Corporation, Mohali, Punjab, India
2 Associate Professor, University College of Nursing, BFUHS, Faridkot, Punjab, India
3 Assistant Professor, University College of Nursing, BFUHS, Faridkot, Punjab, India
|Date of Submission||30-Aug-2019|
|Date of Decision||08-Nov-2019|
|Date of Acceptance||27-Dec-2019|
|Date of Web Publication||08-Aug-2020|
Dr. Sushil Kumar Maheshwari
University College of Nursing, BFUHS, Faridkot, Punjab
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Mobile phones have become an important part of everyone's lives. In recent times, there seems to have been a transformation of the mobile phone from a status symbol to a necessity because of the countless advantages it provides. Excessive and addicting use of mobile phone, especially smart phone results in physical and psychological symptoms such as loneliness, interpersonal anxiety, poor self-control, and low self-esteem. Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of nomophobia among smart phone using collegegoing undergraduate and post graduate students. Methodology: Quantitative, exploratory research approach with cross-sectional survey design was used to assess the degree of nomophobia in 300 conveniently selected college students of Faridkot, Punjab using sociodemographic datasheet and Nomophobia Questionnaire. Results: This study found that 99.7% of the collegegoing students had nomophobia. One-third (32.7%) of the college students had severe level, 59.9% had moderate level, and 7.1% of the individuals had mild level of nomophobia. Conclusion: It is concluded that 99.7% of the participants were suffering from nomophobia. People with excessive smartphone use are at high risk of developing nomophobia. Further, more attention should be given for the early detection and intervention for treat nomophobia.
Keywords: College students, mobile phone addiction, nomophobia
|How to cite this article:|
Bajaj S, Maheshwari SK, Maheshwari PS. Prevalence of nomophobia among college students: An exploratory cross-sectional survey. Indian J Psy Nsg 2020;17:29-32
|How to cite this URL:|
Bajaj S, Maheshwari SK, Maheshwari PS. Prevalence of nomophobia among college students: An exploratory cross-sectional survey. Indian J Psy Nsg [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 May 23];17:29-32. Available from: https://www.ijpn.in/text.asp?2020/17/1/29/291617
| Introduction|| |
Mobile phones have become an indispensable part of everyone's lives. In recent times, there seems to have been a transformation of the mobile phone from a status symbol to a necessity because of the countless advantages it provides. Due to multiple advantages, mobile phones now become a common choice for consumers along with the use in business.
Besides providing various advantages, excessive use of mobile phones can lead to many type of problems. It can cause social, physical, and psychological pathologies such as damages related to electromagnetic field radiation, car accidents, and distress linked to the fear of not being able to use new technological devices.
Another downside of using mobile phones is uncontrolled and extreme use or dependence and its associated social and behavioral outcomes. Various studies have shown that excessive and addicting use of mobile phone is related to loneliness, depressive symptoms, interpersonal anxiety, poor self-control, low self-sufficiency, and low self-esteem.
Nomophobia is known as fear of being unable to communicate through a mobile phone. Nomophobia literally means “no mobile phone phobia” that is the fear of being away from the mobile phone.” If a person is in the area of no network, has no balance or battery, the person gets anxious, which adversely affects the health.
Individuals who exhibit nomophobic behaviors become anxious when they forget to take their mobile phones with them, when the battery charge runs out, or when they have no network coverage. This state of anxiety adversely affects an individual's concentration to perform their daily activities.
Most of the nomophobics experience “Rinxiety” (a portmanteau of ring and anxiety) which is also known as “Phantom vibration syndrome,” phantom ringing, which means a false sensation of ringing of mobile phones. Nomophobia has been affecting the mental status of the mobile phone users. Thats why, it was proposed that nomophobia should be included in the Diagnostic and Statistical manual of Mental disorders, fifth version (DSM-V).
Nomophobia occurs when an individual feels anxious due to the fear of not having the mobile phone near to him. The “over-connection syndrome” is when extreme mobile phone use reduces the amount of direct interactions. The term “techno-stress” is another way to explain an individual who avoids direct interactions by engaging in isolation including mood disorders such as depression.
Anxiety is increased by several factors, such as the loss of smart phone, and mobile phone without battery. Clinical features of nomophobia include using the smart phone extremely, as a source of social communication. Others symptoms include having one or more smart phones with access to internet, always carrying a charger, and experiencing feelings of anxiety mobile phone is not around.
Nomophobia is not yet included in current DSM-5; it has been recommended as a “specific phobia,” based on definitions given in the DSM-IV. These could include low self-esteem and extroverted personality. It is possible that nomophobic symptoms may be caused by other underlying and preexisting mental disorders, social phobia or social anxiety disorder, social anxiety, and panic disorder.
Nomophobia affects the mind as well as the social relationships, where a person is physically present but mentally absent. “Phone dependency may also cause work problems if people are unable to resist checking smart phone or answering calls when at work. This will impact their work performance by reducing their attention and focus. Multitasking is also a big problem as it impairs concentration. It can add about 2 h of the working time and decrease work completion that leads to stress, impair mental health over time.” This study aimed to assess the prevalence of nomophobia among smart phone using collegegoing undergraduate and post graduate students of Faridkot, Punjab (India).
| Methodology|| |
A quantitative, nonexperimental, exploratory research approach with cross-sectional survey design was used for the study. The study settings were Government Brijindra College, Faridkot and Adesh institute of engineering and technology, Faridkot. The population included in the study was college students from the age of 17–24 years with a sample size of 300 college students who were selected using convenient sampling. The data were collected using survey method with the help of the two research questionnaire which are as follows:
Tool 1: Sociodemographic datasheet
It is self-constructed tool which consists of items related to demographic data of the individuals. These variables were age, gender, religion, area of stay, family type, family income, pocket money, marital status, duration of smartphone usage, money spent on phone in 1 month, and daily time spent on smartphone usage. Participants were instructed to give appropriate response of each item.
Tool 2: Nomophobia Questionnaire
It is standardized questionnaire which consists of 20 items and used in this study to measure the degree of mobile phone dependence of the individuals. The items are rated on a 1–7 point Likert scale, with 1 being “totally disagree” and 7 being “totally agree.” These questions are divided into four main themes: not being able to access information (items 1–4); giving up convenience (items 5–9); not being able to communicate (items 10–15); and losing connectedness (items 16–20). The total score is found by adding up the number in each item, which allows for a range of scores from 20 to 140 points. Higher scores correspond to a higher degree of nomophobia. Score <20 shows the absence of nomophobia, score between 21 and 59 shows mild level of nomophobia, score between 60 and 99 shows moderate level of nomophobia, and score between 100 and 140 shows severe nomophobia. A formal permission was taken to use the tool. Cronbach's alpha reliability test was performed, which measures the internal consistency of the scale, and was found to be 0.894.
The study was delimited to nonmedical students only studying in Faridkot district only. Only the students available on the time on data collection were included in the study.
The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics with statistical package SPSS 25 (Statistics package for the social science, India).
Ethical clearance was taken from ethical committee of University College of nursing, Faridkot and Baba Farid University of health sciences Faridkot. Apart from this, written informed consent was taken from each study participant and permission was taken from authorities of the respected area to collect the data. Confidentiality and privacy of the study participants were also be maintained.
| Results|| |
Majority of the study participants (61%) were females whereas nearly three-fifth (61.7%) of study participants belong to Sikh religion. More than half (66.3%) of the individuals were from rural areas, were living in nuclear families, were unmarried, using smartphone from <1 year, spent <200 Rupees in a month on mobile phone, and spending 1–2 h on mobile phone.
[Table 1] and [Table 2] reveal the prevalence of nomophobia among college students, and it was found that a total of 99.7% of the collegegoing students had nomophobia. Of them, two-third (32.7%) of the participants had severe level of nomophobia, majority of the study participants (59.9%) had moderate level of nomophobia, and 7.1% of the individuals had mild level of nomophobia. Hence, it can be concluded that maximum of the college students had nomophobia.
|Table 2: Distribution of study participants according to degree of nomophobia (n=300)|
Click here to view
| Discussion|| |
According to the present study, 59.9% of the study participants were having moderate nomophobia and 32.7% were having severe nomophobia. It is supported by by Sethia et al. (2018) who found that 61.5% were having moderate nomophobia and 6.1% having severe nomophobia. Another study by Alahmari et al. (2017) revealed that 22.2% of students had severe nomophobia, 63.3% had mild nomophobia, while 14.5% had no nomophobia. Another study by Kaur et al. revealed that majority of nursing students (79%) were at risk of developing nomophobia, followed by normal (15%) and remaining (6%) are nomophobic.
According to the present study, 36.7% of the study participants were spending 1–2 h on mobile phone, whereas 19.0% were spending 2–3 h and 21.3% were spending more than 3 h on mobile phone. Another study by Deniz et al. revealed that the longer the duration of smartphone usage, the higher the risk of exhibiting nomophobic behaviors. A study by Pavithra et al. revealed 48% of the study participants used mobile phone for duration of 1–3 h/day followed by 31% who used it for only half to 1 h, whereas 16% used it for 3–5 h and 5% used for more than 5 h in a day. Nomophobic scores (20 and above) were higher in students who used mobile phones for more than 3 h.
According to the present study, 193 (64.3%) spent <200 rupees on mobile phone per month whereas 56 individuals (18.7%) were spending 200–300 rupees per month on mobile phone and 37 (12.3%) were spending 300–500 rupees on mobile phone monthly. This finding is also in line with available literature. Another supportive finding by Pavithra et al. revealed majority (74%) of the students spent Rupees 300–500 per month on mobile recharge.
| Conclusion|| |
It is concluded that 99.7% of the collegegoing students had nomophobia. Of them, two-third (32.7%) of the participants had severe level of nomophobia and majority of the study participants (59.9%) had moderate level of nomophobia. Excessive use of smart phone may result in dependency on mobile phone. It is an alarming sign for the public and health-care professionals. More focus should be given for the early detection and intervention for treat nomophobia.
Students can be taught about hazardous effects of long mobile phone use. Centers of learning (schools and colleges) and public places should establish smart phone-free zone. Early screening and appropriate interventions are required with nomophobics to avoid psychological and physical problems in future. In nursing practice, usage of smartphone should be prohibited as this can create hindrance in patient care. The special implications of nursing administration in community are educating them regarding a healthy balance of life, work, and technology.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Table 1], [Table 2]