NOMO FOMO: How to have a healthy relationship with your phone

By MAS Team | 28 April 2021

DING. The notification rings in your ears. Your screen glows and your eyes go wide. What could it be? A comment on your Insta post? An email from your tutor? An unmissable sale on The Iconic? Whatever it is, you can't wait to find out. So naturally, you look. It's only human. 

But, as handy as phones can be - they can also be terrible for our mental health. From group chats that distract you, to influencers triggering insecurities - there's a gateway to hell in your pocket and you may not even realise it. 

Group of people using social network with seamless emoticons popping up from the smartphone screen

Got Nomophobia? Same. 

Nomophobia (No-Mobile-Phobia) is the anxious feeling that arises when someone is without their mobile phone or is unable to use it. Sounds petty, but it's a real thing and psychologists warn it's becoming increasingly common these days. 

In an Australian survey of over 2,800 smartphone users, 99% showed signs of nomophobia to some degree. And wherever you sit on the nomophobia scale, we can all benefit from reeling in our phone usage. Or at least mitigate its effect on our mental health. So here's how to break free, and establish a healthy relationship with your phone. 

Set bedtime boundaries. 

Easier said than done, we know. But psychologists say distraction from sleep is one of the main reasons phones can be bad for your mental health. So put your phone on airplane mode half-an-hour before bed and get some uninterrupted shuteye. 

Turn the light off.

The glaringly bright blue light isn't so great for your eyes. It can also make it harder to shut off for the night, keeping your brain awake and alert. Most phones have settings to help reduce the effect. So switch to a warm display and use dark mode at night. 

Guy lying in bed in the dark with insomnia, frowning and looking at his phone

Detox your feed.

Between toxic influencers and negative news, being plugged into the zeitgeist can really get you down. So mind who you follow. And fill your feed with serotonin releasing sources, like The Happy Broadcast. A social audit is never a bad idea. 

Switch your settings.

You're only human, so if you can't trust yourself, use your settings to your advantage. Whether you're a die-hard Android or Apple lover, adjust your settings to stop you using your phone at certain times of the day. Like when you're trying to study. 

Make your phone work for you.

As demanding as they are, we all know smartphones can improve our daily lives. So why not try to have a healthier relationship with yours? It's all about being mindful of your usage. As long as you're making it work for you, rather than the other way around - you are free. 

Friends hanging out laughing next to a Device Free Zone lightbox sign and a pile of mobile phones

If you love your phone as much as the rest of us, it's a good idea to get contents insurance. That way, if it gets damaged, you won't be put out for too long. Check out MAS Contents Insurance for more information. 

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