Cambridge Dictionary’s ‘word of the year’ is usually a reflection of the social and cultural trends that were consistently at the forefront of our collective minds throughout the past year, and for 2018 the word is ‘nomophobia’.
Cambridge Dictionary reports that nomophobia has been selected as ‘the people’s word of 2018’ in a public vote that asked its blog readers and social media followers to choose from a shortlist of four words they thought best summed up the year.
So, what is nomophobia?
The word ‘nomophobia’ is defined as the ‘fear or worry at the idea of being without your mobile phone or unable to use it’.
While it isn’t a scientific term, it is a word that has become increasingly popular among researchers. In fact, scientists from the City University of Hong Kong and the Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul has said it’s about smartphones now being so advanced and personal to us that they actually become an extension of ourselves. So, when our phone isn’t within arm’s reach, it can make us feel as though we have lost a sense of identity and make us anxious.
As technology advances, our reliance on smart devices continues to grow. Perhaps 2019 is the year we should all prioritise putting down our laptops, phones and tablets to engage with the real world and the people in front of us more often.
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