The mobile phone. It’s everyone’s best friend, companion on public transport, trusted confidante. Attachment to mobile phones has steadily increased in the last decade, and psychological factors help explain this.
What are some of the reasons behind mobile phone attachment?
Given that we constantly keep or carry our phones with us in our daily lives, it’s no surprise that anxiety can creep up when they become misplaced.
One reason that explains this attachment is that the mobile phone is often regarded as an extension of one’s sense of self. This means that in the modern day, one’s identity can be tied to their mobile phone.
This idea is evident given the existence of accessories used to adorn mobile phones, since many people even own multiple phone cases to switch out according to their outfit or mood. The meaning behind a mobile phone has gone beyond simply being a functional tool; it can now be regarded as a vital accessory.
Revolving an outfit or appearance around a mobile phone shows how it has slowly but surely transitioned into an external sense of identity.
Another reason behind the attachment to our mobile phones is the psychological need for proximity. Mobile phones have transformed themselves into an object representative of safety and intimacy, and its ability to connect with people through messages or social media confirms this.
For example, walking or spending time alone can sometimes contribute to feelings of anxiety or solitude,so scrolling through a mobile phone can ease this sense of loneliness.
Anxiety can also creep up when mobile phones are misplaced or lost because suddenly the connection to the world can seem lost. Many users claim feeling anxious if they’re not able to be reached by mobile phone.
Owning a mobile phone, and maybe even two or more, has been heavily normalized in the past decade, and now it is even considered abnormal to not own or be out without one. Many mobile service plans even offer upgrade features so that one can always upgrade to the newest release when the opportunity arises.
The overall attachment to mobile phones can also be pushed by society’s acceptance and encouragement of owning and heavily using mobile phones.
Clearly, it is important to stay connected and in reach of loved ones, but given the psychological dependence observed, it is important to take caution to not fall victim to dependence.