Nomophobia: A fast-growing illness among Canadians

Unbeknownst to most, many people suffer from an illness that currently affects approximately 20 million Canadians.

It is called nomophobia, which stands for “no mobile phone phobia”– the fear of being without your phone – and it has more than half of the Canadian population in its clutches.

“I use my phone compulsively,” said Calgary-based freelance writer, Jeremy Klaszus in an interview over the phone.

Symptoms of nomophobia may include an inability to turn the phone off, obsessively checking for missed calls, emails and texts, and frequently topping up the battery life.

Klaszus uses his iPhone for a variety of tasks such as going on Twitter, and checking his email, blogs or the news.

“It’s not actually business related for the most-part,” he said, “my phone is mostly used for personal use.”

As of July, 2012 there are approximately 16 million active iOS and Android devices in Canada, meaning that there is a smartphone from either Apple or Google in the pocket of every second citizen in the country.

According to the Rogers phone company Innovation Report, 51 per cent of smartphone users sleep beside their phone at night, and 82 per cent of people bring their phone to the bathroom.

But several weeks ago, Klaszus found a way to curb his smartphone use by implementing his new invention, the “iPhone basket.”

For Klaszus, the iPhone basket is a way to ensure a little extra quality time with the family every evening.

He and his wife both turn off their iPhones and leave them in the basket from roughly 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. every weeknight.

“I’ve received lots of enthusiastic responses from people,” said Klaszus who claims that his mother is even hooked on using her smartphone, “She said, ‘basket-shmasket’ when I first told her about the idea,” he chuckled.

According to Klaszus, the iPhone basket is indefinitely going to exist as a long-term thing for both him and his wife.

“The idea is to do it for our kids,” he said.

For now, Klaszus says they  have decided not to use their iPhone basket on weekends. “But it’s something we need to look into.”

About Johann Kuschke 5 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Johann Kuschke worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2012-2013 academic year.