Nomophobia today affects millions of people around the world, including many Americans. The age group most at risk would be between 18 and 25 years of age, young adults with low self-esteem and problems in social relationships.
The problem can start even earlier and for this reason it is good to understand how to also protect children from this disorder. A newly published book by the psychotherapist Giuseppe Lavenia proposes a series of tests to face the situation.
For example in general, it can be said that at 9-10 years it is too early to give such an articulated tool to our children. What is the mobile phone for our kids? Probably, if we asked them they would reply that they would use it to play with some friends, chat, participate in a group on a messaging tool, follow a YouTuber or an Influencer that they like.
But being an articulated tool it is full of potential but also of as many dangers. This is why before satisfying them it is necessary to evaluate whether they are emotionally and cognitively ready. Very often, however, it happens that at the request of the child, the parents decide to give the mobile phone to the child or not to be stolen from their own, or because he continues to say that if he does not have it, he feels different from the others.
None of these is a valid motivation: the only way to make an informed decision is to evaluate the boy's cognitive and emotional maturity.
What's the right age to have a smartphone?
There is no right age to have a cell phone.
In principle, the idea is to give the mobile phone no earlier than 13 years. Much, however, depends on the boy's cognitive and emotional maturity. Technology has given a great hand to stay in touch with those who could not attend during lockdowns around the world, but has worked on the emotions of the moment.
It didn't help cultivate the feeling, which is what really binds us to another person. It is what allows us to put ourselves in his shoes, to understand the deeper reasons of the other, even if we do not share them. All that is mediated by a screen, in short, does not allow us to get in deep harmony with those who are beyond the screen.
It can help, but it is not the glue of an empathic bond. How to avoid mobile addictions then? It is not easy today that it is such a popular tool. First of all, let's get informed. We keep dialogue with the kids active, we ask them what they do in their online and offline life.
We remain curious, interact, cultivate common interests and never tire of playing, or inventing activities together. Addiction begins to come when the cell phone is more interesting than the outside world. We activate parental control, we try to explain to him what sexting, cyberbullying, and other frequent dangers that you can run into on the net are. Knowledge always helps.