The internet allows people to follow their routines like clockwork, systematically and without interruption, from the moment they wake up until they go to sleep. Thanks to this technology, which many of us take for granted, people achieve a sense of belonging and they’re updated and informed about the latest trends, but when for some reason they cannot have their usual digital diet, they “suffer” in different ways.
With the proliferation of digital devices that connect people even more, it’s common for some of us to experience some of the situations described below when we lose signal. Have you experienced any of these?
Nomophobia (from “no-mobile-phone phobia”) is the fear of suddenly realizing that you lost your smartphone (or left it on the kitchen table). It can cause anxiety in people used to being connected at all times.
This phobia is not yet an official pathology or behavior disorder, but there are people whose level of dependence on mobile devices is so high that they can feel real suffering by not having them. Young users experience this the most because they’re more conditioned to being always connected via smartphone.
It is true that our cellphones keep a large amount of information and are the most important tool for many of us on a daily basis. But to prevent suffering a real phobia, it is important to have a balance between online and offline social interaction, and not to give online activities a greater importance than what happens in the real world.
Installing fewer social media apps will help you reduce your need to seek online interaction or approval all the time. The more digital communication options you have, the emptier you feel when you lose them.
FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out
FOMO is strongly related to the use of social media and also affects young people the most. The reason behind it is the constant discovery of new trends, challenges, memes, viral videos, influencers, news, etc., and, as the name explains, it is the fear of not being part of something “important” that happens online which keeps you from joining the conversation.
Cellphones allow us to be informed, but those who click on all notifications to be 100% updated live in a constant need of knowing everything that happens around them.
FOMO is not a disorder that keeps people awake or causes health problems, but it can keep some people connected longer than necessary.
As with nomophobia, it is important to understand that the benefits of the internet exist to expand our knowledge, ways of entertainment and communication, not to entrust everything to the same platform.
Anxiety about separation from the internet
It is not a medical name of some recognized disorder, but it is a real anxiety. Many young people will completely refuse to go on a trip if they know in advance that they will go to a place with no signal. Most of us can voluntarily disconnect for a few hours, even a few days, and nothing happens, but for some people the need for always-on connectivity has even taken them to therapy or help groups to overcome their dependence on technology.
Lack of internet has important negative effects on society
Although some “problems” are really small things such as not being able to upload our latest selfie or check in at a restaurant — digital exclusion does put individuals at a disadvantage when compared to others, since many personal development opportunities (professional and educational) live online. When people from different parts of the country do not have internet access or their signal is poor, it becomes a problem to solve.
Viasat works to offer connection solutions that meet the expectations and demands of digital inclusion. Learn more about satellite internet trends in our blog, Community Wi-Fi and Residential Internet services.