Nomophobia prevents millennials from switching off
Web Log: Study reveals cohort find it challenging to go on a ‘digital detox’
Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and fin-tech firm Square, went off the grid last year for a spell of meditation and digital detox. Photograph: Reuters
Millennials are desperate to disconnect but find it almost impossible due to FOMO (fear of missing out) and nomophobia, or the fear of being separated from one’s smartphone.
According to a new study from the University of Greenwich in the UK, digital natives (aged between 21 and 35) are sick of being switched on all the time but find it challenging to go on a “digital detox” or break from technology.
“Switching off digitally and being ‘mentally’ away while on holiday is as important as being physically away. Millennials increasingly want to digital disconnect and view digital detoxes as a way of achieving sustained well-being - ‘psychological sustainability’,” says Dr Wenjie Cai, from the University of Greenwich Business School.
“The social expectation that one must be constantly connected also needs to change, and support from various sectors is needed to maximise the benefit of digital-free travel,” he added.
This isn’t surprising. Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, for example, went off the grid last year for a spell of meditation and digital detox but wore his Oura tracker ring and Apple Watch on airplane mode the entire time, sharing his stats on social media as soon as he returned.