From insects to spooky places, I am rarely afraid of anything, but there is a phobia to which I have fallen victim. Nomophobia is the fear of being without your smartphone, and it pains to me to admit that I am lost without mine.

Dr. Jennifer Peszka of Hendrix College in Arkansas conducted a study and found that 90 percent of college students suffer from nomophobia. She also uncovered that nomophobia is linked to unhealthy sleep habits.

“We found that college students who experience more ‘nomophobia’ were also more likely to experience sleepiness and poorer sleep hygiene such as long naps and inconsistent bed and wake times,” Peszka reported.

Her study was focused on college students, but I have a feeling nomophobia extends far and wide.

There have been countless times where an older family member in my life has uttered the phrase, “These kids and their technology.”

I cringe every time I hear it. They act as if we are incapable of navigating through life without it. But now this study has me wondering if they are right.

I have had a cell phone since I was 12 and it sounds absurd when I admit that out loud. I received my first smartphone when I was 15 and have been a slave to it ever since. My entire life is at the palm of my hands and I am never without it. Even when I’m sleeping, my phone is an arm’s length away.

I have a vacation coming up, and I keep saying how I can’t wait to “unplug," but truthfully, I have never fully unplugged. I may have shut off my laptop, but I have never considered shutting my phone off.

This vacation, I will attempt the impossible: I will attempt 24 hours without my phone. I’m nervous just thinking about it, but that’s all the more reason to do it. It’s time to really unplug and shut down.


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