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Smartphone separation anxiety becoming widespreadPhoto source: Thinkstock

Smartphone separation anxiety becoming widespread

20 Aug 2017 | 9:31 PM

LOS ANGELES: Smartphone addiction, and anxiety caused by being separated from the devices, is getting worse as people are increasingly seeing their devices as an extension of themselves, a study has warned.

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Los Angeles

Smartphone addiction, and anxiety caused by being separated from the devices, is getting worse as people are increasingly seeing their devices as an extension of themselves, a study has warned.

Smartphones have become an integral part of living, penetrating deep into everyday life as "an irresistible intruder in time or place" and enabling "the extension of ear and voice" for interacting with the world, researchers said.

"Nomophobia" or smartphone separation anxiety is the feelings of discomfort or anxiety caused by the unavailability of a mobile device that allows virtual communication.

Previous studies have found that separation from smartphones causes increases in heart rate, anxiety, blood pressure, and unpleasant feelings.

Researchers, including those from University of Hong Kong found that when users perceive smartphones as their extended selves, they are more likely to get attached to the devices, which, in turn, leads to nomophobia by heightening the phone proximity-seeking tendency.

"As smartphones evoke more personal memories, users extend more of their identity onto their smartphones," researchers said.

"When users perceive smartphones as their extended selves, they are more likely to become attached to the devices, which, in turn, leads to nomophobia by heightening the phone proximity-seeking tendency," they added.

Dependency on smartphones is likely to continue to increase, as the advancement of technology continues to make smartphones increasingly appealing and indispensable by adding various convenient and powerful features that facilitate ubiquitous communication, researchers said.

Nomophobia, therefore, is also likely to become more rampant, synchronously with the increase in time spent using smartphones.

Researchers developed a model that identified a link between factors such as personal memories and user's greater attachment to their smartphones, leading to nomophobia and a tendency to phone proximity-seeking behaviour.

An online survey was developed to assess the levels of smartphone users' positive memories, self-extension, attachment, phone proximity-seeking behavior, and nomophobia.

"Nomophobia, fear of missing out (FoMo), and fear of being offline (FoBo) — all anxieties born of our new high-tech lifestyles — may be treated similarly to other more traditional phobias," said Brenda K Wiederhold from Interactive Media Institute in the US.

"Exposure therapy, in this case turning off technology periodically, can teach individuals to reduce anxiety and become comfortable with periods of disconnectedness," Wiederhold added.

The study was published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. PTI

UK scientists create world's smallest surgical robot

UK scientists create world's smallest surgical robot

20 Aug 2017 | 9:28 PM

LONDON: British scientists have developed the world’s smallest surgical robot that could transform daily operations for tens of thousands of patients, the media reported on Sunday.

Hot spots around globe do not move as quickly as thought

Hot spots around globe do not move as quickly as thought

20 Aug 2017 | 9:26 PM

WASHINGTON: Through analysis of volcanic tracks, a team of researchers has found that hot spots like those that formed the Hawaiian Islands do not move as quickly as previously thought.

Millions of Americans to gaze upon Monday's once-in-a-lifetime eclipse

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20 Aug 2017 | 4:46 PM

LOS ANGELES: Twilight will fall at midday on Monday, stars will glimmer and birds will roost in an eerie stillness as millions of Americans and visitors witness the first total solar eclipse to traverse the United States from coast to coast in 99 years.

Workplace flexibility may help women’s career post childbirth

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19 Aug 2017 | 3:54 PM

LONDON: Providing flexibility to women at the workplace may help them maintain their careers post childbirth, a study has found. Researchers from the University of Kent in the UK noted that it is “the ability to take advantage of the opportunity to work flexibly that is most useful” in preventing women from dropping out of the labour market after having their first child.

Why whisky tastes better with water revealed

Why whisky tastes better with water revealed

18 Aug 2017 | 7:03 PM

LONDON: LONDON: Whisky connoisseurs have long thought that mixing a few drops of water could enhance the taste of the drink, and now a study has revealed a scientific explanation for why that may be true.

2 new species of earthworm discovered in Kerala

2 new species of earthworm discovered in Kerala

18 Aug 2017 | 1:39 PM

KOCHI: Scientists have discovered two new species of earthworm belonging to the primitive family Moniligastridae in the Western Ghats mountain ranges in Kerala.

Children avoid eye contact when anxious

Children avoid eye contact when anxious

18 Aug 2017 | 11:02 AM

WASHINGTON: A study recently revealed that children, aged nine to 13, pay close attention to potentially threatening information and avoid eye contact when anxious.

Mars 2020 rover to use smart techniques to find signs of life

Mars 2020 rover to use smart techniques to find signs of life

17 Aug 2017 | 3:42 PM

LONDON: NASA's Mars 2020 rover — which will look for signs of past life on the red planet — will use smart X-ray techniques originally developed to find the oldest life on Earth, according to a mission scientist.

Modern apples originated in Kazakhstan: study

Modern apples originated in Kazakhstan: study

16 Aug 2017 | 3:03 PM

NEW YORK: The modern juicy, crisp apples originated in a mountainous region of Kazakhstan, according to a study which reveals a surprising two-way journey on the Silk Road for one of the world’s most popular fruits.

Facebook updates News Feed for easier navigation

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16 Aug 2017 | 11:33 AM

SAN FRANCISCO:To make News Feed more conversational and easier to read and navigate, Facebook has made a few updates to its design, including the comment style and readability, the company said on Wednesday.

Deep sleep may reinforce new motor skills

Deep sleep may reinforce new motor skills

14 Aug 2017 | 4:47 PM

LOS ANGELES: Deep sleep can help the brain reinforce newly learnt motor skills that involve handling objects, Indian-origin scientists have found.

Emojis in work e-mails may portray low competence

Emojis in work e-mails may portray low competence

14 Aug 2017 | 3:21 PM

JERUSALEM: Using a smiley face emoji or similar emoticons in work-related e-mails may not create a positive impression and could actually portray low competence, a study suggests.

How goldfish make alcohol to survive without oxygen decoded

How goldfish make alcohol to survive without oxygen decoded

13 Aug 2017 | 4:38 PM

LONDON: Scientists have uncovered how the goldfish produce alcohol to survive harsh winters beneath frozen lakes, a remarkable ability that makes it one of the most resilient pets under human care.

Now, identify fake products using your smartphone!

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12 Aug 2017 | 10:26 PM

NEW YORK:A new mechanism that uses algorithms and a smartphone to differentiate between genuine and counterfeit versions of the same product has been developed by a team of Indian-origin researchers in the US.

Facebook rolls out video shows, in new challenge

Facebook rolls out video shows, in new challenge

10 Aug 2017 | 8:06 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook is rolling out a new video service offering professionally produced shows in a challenge to rivals such as YouTube, and potentially to streaming providers like Netflix.

Google improves 'Search' experience for Indian users

Google improves 'Search' experience for Indian users

10 Aug 2017 | 1:40 PM

NEW DELHI: In a bid to further improve the search experience for its users in India, Google on Thursday introduced latest to its 'Search' app.

Humans arrived in Southeast Asia 20,000 years earlier

Humans arrived in Southeast Asia 20,000 years earlier

10 Aug 2017 | 12:23 PM

MELBOURNE: Modern humans may have exited Africa and arrived in Southeast Asia over 70,000 years ago, much earlier than previously thought, said scientists.

Facebook launches YouTube competitor called 'Watch'

Facebook launches YouTube competitor called 'Watch'

10 Aug 2017 | 10:03 AM

SAN FRANCISCO: In an apparent bid to take on Google-owned YouTube, Facebook has rolled out 'Watch' - a redesigned video platform for creators and publishers.

Twitter may bring 'Night Mode' to desktops

Twitter may bring 'Night Mode' to desktops

09 Aug 2017 | 1:09 PM

SAN FRANCISCO: After rolling out 'Night Mode' feature for smartphones earlier this year, Micro-blogging platform Twitter may soon bring it to desktops.

Modern dogs emerged through single domestication process

Modern dogs emerged through single domestication process

08 Aug 2017 | 6:27 PM

LONDON: Challenging previous research that suggested two domestication processes led to the modern dog, a new study led by an Indian-origin scientist says that all contemporary dogs have a common origin and emerged through a single domestication process of wolves 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.

This is how birds get their colour

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07 Aug 2017 | 2:24 PM

NEW DELHI: There are about 18,000 bird species on Earth, and every species is differently coloured.

Large age gap may erode marital satisfaction

Large age gap may erode marital satisfaction

07 Aug 2017 | 2:11 PM

WASHINGTON: Men and women who have younger spouses are happier with their marriage, but this marital satisfaction fades over time in couples who have a significant age gap, a study has found.

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