Mobile phone addiction: when disconnection causes an “existential void”

Alberto Trimboli, former president of the Asociación Argentina de Salud Mental, explained that before a workaholic could bring a folder to his house to work at the end of the week, but today “he only has a cell phone and an internet connection to carry the full office “. The opinion of other specialists.

The use of the cell phone crosses all areas of life and has become a daily thing for many years, to the point that disconnection from these types of devices can generate a “feeling of emptiness” in some people, which, according to specialists consulted por Télam, suele provocar angustia, inseguridad, incertidumbre e irritabilidad.

Alberto Trimboli, psychologist and ex-president of the Asociación Argentina de Salud Mental (AASM), highlighted that the advance of the internet and web 2.0 “potential addictions” that already existed, while “at the same time others appeared” proper to the digital era.

In dialogue with Télam, the specialist detailed that a few years ago a workaholic could bring a folder to work at the end of the week, but he “doesn’t have a cell phone and an internet connection to bring the complete office. Incluso una persona adicta a las shopping puede entrar las horas a una application y comprar using a card. The same thing happens with sex and play.”

In the last decades, almost without our account, the development of technology was extremely dizzying, the cell phone evolved and permeated our entire life, both at the recreational, labor, academic and even daily life levels, as in shopping applications. , citas o mobilidad.

The problem arises when we are forced to disconnect the devices, for example due to the lack of internet, and we must ask ourselves what happens to the subject who is constantly with his device and why there is a “sensation of emptiness” at the time of disconnect.

Trimboli indicated that the “sensación de vacio” is a point to be aware of because “it is a symptom of the problem with the use of devices”.

“It is usually put in evidence when traveling to a place without access to the internet, or on an airplane, including in the same house when the light or the internet is cut off”, he said and added that, in esas ocasions, puede aparecer sensation of emptiness, anxiety, insecurity, incertidumbre and irritability, something like “un syndrome of abstinence por la falta de uso del dispositivo”.

According to the specialist, the limit between addiction and the “normal use” of technology does not depend on the time of connection, but on the type of relationship that is established with the device.

“El problema existe cuando uno no puede parar cuando tiene que parar. Hay que estar atento y detecter cuando el uso del dispositivo se está volviendo el centro de la vida que lo hace ir dejando lado lado los importantes de la vida, como el work, el studio, la family y la vida social”, he pointed out.

Trimboli mentioned that it is important to observe the presence of certain symptoms to alert us, such as the continuous need to use devices, gradual changes in habits, sleep disorders, abandonment of activities that previously affected the pleasure and social life, as well as deterioration in the relaciones familiares, vida laboral o escolar, irritabilidad y angustia ante la falta de connexion.

In this sense, the specialist referred that during the confinement the tendency of this dependence increased, but it is important to note that “virtual connection in times of physical distance due to the pandemic was the only possibility of contact with family, labor and lo educativo”.

For his part, Santiago Resett, licensed in education and researcher of Conicet, told Télam that the tendency of new technologies to become massive puede generate certain risks, but “no son malas, son muy positivas, nunca hemos estado tan conectados”.

According to the researcher, two things happen, firstly, to be present in all aspects of our life, it generates an excessive dependency, and secondly, there are subjects who become more dependent or vulnerable in front of the devices.

“El problema se genera porque muchas veces hay sujetos que por sus characteristics de personality psicosocial y cognitive se vuelven más dependent y adictos a las technologías. Hay sujetos que son más vulnerables a esta addiction”, he explained.

Nomophobia-o-adiction-al-celular-phubbing-1

Además, el conflicto recae en que muchos subjects “no la usan para actividades constructives, sobre todo los más jóvenes”, lo que en inglés se denomina “pointless” (inútil).

“Estoy aburrido entonces entro a las redes sociales y empiezo a ver publicaciones y gasto el tiempo en nada constructive. Las redes sociales muchas veces afectan a nivel psychologica porque estás pendiente todo el tiempo de lo que suben los demás. Pero no impactan de un mismo modo, depende de la personality, tu compéncia cognitiva, si las usas para trabajar, y la edad. Este último es un factor importante”, he said.

Resett hizo hincapié en las nuevas generations que “ya nacen con las redes sociales” y comizan a utilizarlas cuando son niños a edades que dereniban, y crecen con ellas y, por lo tanto, “nunca supo lo que era vivir sin ellas: las empezó a usar a una edad más vulnerable psychologically, cognitively and socially”.

This is why we feel this “emptiness” when we are forced to disconnect: “In research we see that 80% or 90% of adolescents and university students say that the first thing they do when they get up is grab the cell phone” .

“La gente más joven está más expuesta porque ya nace con el celular en la mano”, he warned.

Resett calificó esta dependencia como una “pandemia silenciosa” porque los costos que provoca no se observan de manera immediata. “Es algo contradictorio -agregó-. Por un lado son muy positivas y, por el otro, hacemos un mal uso y no tomamos dimensione de eso”.

“Andá a cualquier restaurante, a la sala de un consultorio médico o en el transporto, la majoja de las personas está con el celular, casi no hablan o interactúan. We are losing interactions with other people,” he explained.

According to the specialist, the experiences feel “empty” because the subject does not take a moment to enjoy the place of the experience, and is pending the device all the time, accompanied by this, there is a term to describe the “fear” no tener el celular o contar con connexion a internet: nomophobia.

“Las redes sociales intensifan esto, el miedo de “perderme algo” se potencia porque se amplifica la interacción con los demás. No podés dejar el celular no solo por esta questión irrational a perder algo, sino que ya es parte del behaviora compulsivo de hacer algo todo el tiempo”, he warned.

“Hay que sumar un nuevo aprendizaje sobre cómo manejar los dispositivos tan compulsiveivamente. Es una cuistão behavioral. Hay personas planificadoras que saben disconnectarse”, he said.

Source: Telam

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