Impact of nomophobia: Brazil among the main cell phone addicts in the world

The rise of nomophobia, addiction to cell phoneshas become a worrying phenomenon around the world.

In Brazil, this dependence has reached alarming levels, which ranks the country as fourth in the world ranking of addicts to mobile devices.

A joint survey between McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and the online discount platform revealed that Brazil is among the four countries with the highest number of smartphone addicts, behind only Malaysia and Saudi Arabia and China.

Brazil is 4th country in the global ranking of nomophobia

Nomophobia is a term that describes the fear or anxiety related to lack of access or constant use of mobile devices, such as smartphones. This condition has become increasingly common in a highly digitally connected society.

Individuals affected by nomophobia may experience extreme anxiety or discomfort when they are without their cell phones.

This generates compulsive behavior of constantly checking the device, even in unnecessary or inappropriate situations.

Brazilians are one of the nations that suffer most from cell phone addiction – Image: McGill/Reproduction

Symptoms of nomophobia can include irritability, nervousness, excessive worry, palpitations, difficulty concentrating when a cell phone is unavailable, and even a feeling of panic.

These feelings are often triggered by the lack of cell phone signal, a discharged battery, or lost or forgotten device.

Excessive dependence on the device can negatively affect everyday life by harming personal relationships, academic or professional performance, and mental and physical health.

According to McGill University, nomophobia is more prevalent in countries with collectivist cultures, which value interpersonal connections.

Brazil exemplifies this, as around half of the websites visited are social networks, which highlights the tendency to value social interactions in the country.

Treatment for nomophobia often involves therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps identify and modify thought patterns and actions related to excessive cell phone use.

Additionally, stress management strategies, relaxation techniques and setting limits on the use of mobile devices are often recommended.

Support from mental health professionals, psychologists or psychiatrists, can be essential in helping the person overcome nomophobia and find a balance healthy in the use of mobile technologies.

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