The advance of modern technology where a person can access nearly anything with their mobile phone has made the Smartphone very addictive. It is common to see some people in a meeting clicking away on their Smartphone; some can’t even let them go even when using the bathroom.

Smartphones have apps like Google maps, calendars, menstruation cycle, Bibles, among other programs.
There is no shame for a guest to visit a family and once they reach they ask for charger.
Asking Frank Gashugi, who is a public relations consultant, how long he can stay without his mobile phone, he replied that the nature of his work can’t allow him to put the device down for a while.
For him, the device plays a big role in coordinating most of his work and also keeps him updated.
Reading emails constantly, check Facebook friends, as well as replying to WhatsApp messages are some of the burning reasons to catch mobile users’ attention.

“Are you addicted to your mobile phone?” the writer asked Fiona Kamikazi Rutagengwa communication specialist.
She replied, “I don’t consider myself a phone addict, but I stay on the phone for a long time for keeping up with new things or information, we are in a digital era and our phones enabling us to do our work wherever we are.”
Surprisingly a young guy replied to the same question that it doesn’t bother to spend two days without consulting, social media which is unusual among young generation.
This is Savant Ngirabakunzi who is pursuing his studies in Medicine at University of Rwanda in year five who said that his focus is search Google for academic purposes only.
“I am not addicted at all and I won’t. Many of my friends encouraged me to join WhatsApp groups, but I find it disturbing and decided to leave,” he added.

Smartphone which enables users to access the internet easily have been attracting many people, young and old and psychologists has been analyzing how phone addiction is harmful to human health.
Besides nomophobia which is explained as an anxiety that comes with being separated from one’s phone, psychologists have cited other effects of phone addiction to people.
“Phone addiction can cause eye diseases, neck pain, headache, as well as lack of sleep,” said Emmanuella Mahoro, a clinical psychologist and program manager of psychotherapy and Peace Building at Caring for Impact Ministries.
She underscored how important mobile phones, however, she cautioned users on its overuse.
Giving a testimony of a person who fell in water fissure because of being busy on the phone, Mahoro said that everything which is exceeded becomes harmful.

Photo (courtesy)
Educationist in Musanze Seth Ndahayo said, “I feel uncomfortable and unhappy in the absence of my phone whenever its battery is down. I always hope to receive any call or notifications.”
Power Banks have become a helpful device for those with fake batteries to help them stay online.
“Phone adduction causes disturbance once a person is conversing with other people and they are busy with their mobile phones. When the phone gets a problem, they become so furious to other people because they lack something they are addicted to or considered to be more important,”Mahoro noted.
Calling parents to stay watchful over their children, Sylvestre Twizerimana, a Clinical psychologist at Anglican Church Kivu Diocese, described young generation to become the slaves of social media which affects their behaviors.
It is likely to be depressed and encounter sleeping disorder and mind disturbance once addicted to mobile phone or internet, added Twizerimana.

Other mobile owners to whom we talked, they cited many reasons to stay with the devices.
They said: in churches, Christians would like to read bible from their devices, at school learners are likely to read their summaries from the phones, in the meetings people becomes comfortable to tweet and share the quotes of speakers, in buses to work or back home it was said to be a good time to read and reply to all inbox messages, on the road walking it was said to allow people Google locations of where they are for the right direction, in office employee stay following what is happening outside and even inside the company.
In previous two years, use of mobile phone became an issue of a concern in education and health sector.
In August 2015, countrywide there were skepticism among parents and school administration following the decision by the Ministry of Education to allow students to use mobile phones while at school.
School administrators, teachers and parents doubted the decision saying that mobile phones were likely to distract students and breed other social vices among students.
While in February this year, the government of Rwanda has banned medics from using mobile phones at work where the decision makers said that speaking for long on personal phones affects service delivery in the health sector.

Research findings

One of the things that make people addicted to their smartphones is the fear of missing out. That was documented by four researchers in America last year who released a report after interviewing 308 people on their frequency of using 11 smartphone features that included video and voice calls, texting, social networking and using the internet.
The study, published in the Computers in Human Behaviour journal in May 2016, found that the most used feature was instant messaging through text, followed by browsing the internet then use of social networks.

The Express News


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