WTF Fun Fact 12802 – Nomophobia

We’re addicted to our smartphones. And maybe you knew that, but did you know there’s a name for the fear of being without your phone? It’s called “nomophobia,” and 66% of U.S. adults suffer from it.

What is nomophobia?

According to Psychology Today (cited below), “The term is an abbreviation for ‘no-mobile-phone phobia,’ which was coined during a 2010 study by the UK Post Office.”

One of the first studies of nomophobia was commissioned by the UK Post Office and conducted by YouGov. At the time, 53% of UK mobile phone users confessed to being anxious when they “lose their mobile phone, run out of battery or credit, or have no network coverage.”

The study also found that nomophobia is actually more common in men – “58 percent of men and 47 percent of women suffer from the phobia, and an additional 9 percent feel stressed when their mobile phones are off.”

A worsening epidemic

Things are even worse in the U.S. Psychology Today reports that “Sixty-five percent, or about two in three people, sleep with or next to their smartphones. (Among college students, it’s even higher.) Thirty-four percent admitted to answering their cell phone during intimacy with their partner…One in five people would rather go without shoes for a week than take a break from their phones…More than half never switch off their phone. (I’d call that an addiction.) A full 66 percent of all adults suffer from ‘nomophobia.'”

Which stat are you most surprised by? For us, it’s the willingness to go without shoes just to spend more time on the phone – have you seen what people throw on the ground?!

Ways of coping

If you experience anxiety without your smartphone, there are a few things you can try, including:

  • Balancing screen time and in-person time with friends and family each week, if possible.
  • Doing a phone detox, during which you turn off your phone entirely for one day each month.
  • Sleeping as far away from your phone as possible.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Nomophobia: A Rising Trend in Students” — Psychology Today

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WTF Fun Facts 12723 – No Such Thing As A “Safe Tan”

It’s been decades since we’ve known that tanning beds cause cancer and yet some folks just can’t get enough. It doesn’t help that the tanning industry continues to tout the benefits despite copious scientific evidence that they’re unsafe at best (and, at worst, deadly).

Of course, sun exposure is damaging too, but some of us can’t avoid that – you actually have to walk in and pay for skin damage at a tanning salon dispute there being no physiological benefit (for example, there’s no such thing as a “healthy base tan”).

In addition, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine estimated that more than 3,200 people are treated for tanning-related injuries in US emergency rooms every year.

It’s hard to hear for many people as “tanning addition” becomes more of a problem, especially among young, white women.

But here are just a few facts from the American Academy of Dermatology Association to provide food for thought:

  • Even one indoor tanning session can increase the risk of developing skin cancer (melanoma by 20%, squamous cell carcinoma by 67%, and basal cell carcinoma by 29%).
  • Nearly 25% of young adults the Academy surveyed were unaware or unsure that tanning beds are not safer than the sun.
  • You can’t get enough vitamin D from tanning beds because the bulbs used emit mostly UVA light; however, your body needs UVB light to make vitamin D.
  • About 20% of 18- to 30-year-old white women who use tanning beds show signs of tanning addiction. When they don’t tan, they even report feeling fidgety or depressed.

And, finally, a Forbes article laid out the issues with indoor tanning as well as some research that shows our desire to tan may actually be influenced by genetics!  WTF fun facts

Source: “10 SURPRISING FACTS ABOUT INDOOR TANNING” — American Academy of Dermatology Association

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