Asia’s smartphone addiction

Emoji tattoo

Excerpt from this article:

Nomophobia – or no mobile phone phobia – the onset of severe anxiety on losing access to your smartphone has been talked about for years. But in Asia, the birthplace of the selfie stick and the emoji, psychologists say smartphone addiction is fast on the rise and the addicts are getting younger.

A recent study surveyed almost 1,000 students in South Korea, where 72% of children own a smartphone by the age of 11 or 12 and spend on average 5.4 hours a day on them – as a result about 25% of children were considered addicted to smartphones. The study, to be published in 2016 found that stress was an important indicator of your likelihood to get addicted.

Smartphones are central to many societies but they have been integrated into Asian cultures in many ways: there is the obligatory “food porn” photograph at the beginning of any meal; in Japan it is an entire subculture with its own name – keitai culture.

In South Korea, 19-year-old student Emma Yoon (not her real name) has been undergoing treatment for nomophobia since April 2013. “My phone became my world. It became an extension of me. My heart would race and my palms grew sweaty if I thought I lost my phone. So I never went anywhere without it.”

Advertisements