In this era of smartphones, there are definitely advantages and even disadvantages of having a smartphone and it depends on how the users use it. The focus of this research is to examine the widespread of nomophobia among the Communication Studies (WA02) students.
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Nomophobia comes from the words of no mobile phone. It means that feelings of uncomfortable when they unable to use their smartphone. Department Of Statistics Malaysia stated that the increase of smartphone users between the 2013 year and 2015 year from 94.2% to 97.5%. Smartphone brought the massive changing in the lives of people. It became the important communication tool for the society. According to European Journal of Scientific Research, smartphones are used widely by the university students (Muhammad & Tariq, 2013). There are various types of the smartphone selling in the market and some brands are selling cheaper so normally university students had their own smartphones.
In addition, user spent around 5.05 hours per day with their phone (Andrews, A. Ellis, Shaw & Piwek, 2015).If they do not use the smartphone properly, they will be addicted to it which will cause endanger life. The negative impacts of smartphone addiction are nerve damage, back problem, disrupted sleep and eyesight (Leonard, 2015). Tokyo Fire Department indicates the number of ambulance call-out for people who have been injured because the phenomenon of using smartphones while walking or driving is increasing over the years (cara-clegg, 2014). Next, smartphones also transform the ways of users interact with one another, online education, and business through the using of apps like Facebook, Whatsapp and Youtube. According to Chen and Denovelles online survey in 2012, they found that the insertion of mobile technologies into the academic field. However, the larger portion of the users use the smartphone for the purpose of communication (Dresselhaus &Shrode, 2012). Hence, a research is carried out to study the pattern of usage of smartphone and the positive and negative impact of the uses of smartphone among the student of WA02.
Therefore, quantitative research method had been used to survey the students of WA02. The question was designed based on the pattern of usage smartphone among WA02 student (How long do they use? When they will use? Why do they use?) and the positive and negative impact when using the smartphone. Through the studies, society can find out the appropriate ways to solve the problems.
In this research, we randomly select 30 respondents out of 74 in the WA02 class to answer the questionnaires. The questionnaire contains four parts. Section A is to gather the personal information of the respondents like age, gender and faculty while section B gathers the patterns usage of smartphone including time spending and the purpose of using smartphones and the reasons for the students using their smartphones. Section C is to identify the addiction rank of respondents to smartphone. The question and ranking are taken from a journal (Yildirim & Correia, 2015). This section is needed because some of the respondents do not discover themselves are addicting to the smartphone. A 7-point Likert scale is applied with the highest score (7) represented strongly agree and the lowest score (1) represented strongly disagree. Lastly, a 5-point of Likert scale also applied in section D in order to analyze the positive and negative impact towards the respondents. The highest score (5) representing strongly agree while the lowest score (1) representing strongly disagree.
On the other hand, literature reviewing has been used as a reference because it provided us more understanding of the topic and it helps to avoid reinventing the wheel. We also find some journals and thesis that related to the usage of smartphone that cause positive and negative impacts to the smartphone users. The reading of journal helps us to decorate the interview question and how should we do the observation on the smartphone users among the WA02 students.
Besides that, observation will be undergoing to identify the purpose of the WA02 student using smartphone and a video will be recorded to describe the uses of a smartphone. The research is carried out by observing the WA02 students quietly and secretly in order to avoid Hawthorne effect.
According to the article Uses and Gratification Theory (UGT) (David, 2006), UGT is an audience-centered approach which emphasis on what people do with media, instead of what media does to people. Nowadays, UGT is a tool for comprehension on how the connection between the individual and the surrounding technologies. A smartphone is one of the most common examples that we can easily see and get anywhere and anytime. According to the smartphone usage researched by UGT, people are seeking gratification through the smartphone such as susceptibility, entertainment, satisfaction and so on. This theory can be associated with the usage patterns of smartphones among the communication studies (WA02) students. The different ways of using smartphone will bring the different pros and cons to the users.
Based on the article Nomophobia: A Rising Trend in Students (Tim, 2014), Nomophobia was the term coined during a 2010 study by the UK Post Office which is an abbreviated form of no-mobile-phone phobia. Nomophobia is the smartphone addiction and anxiety caused by being separated from the device. The dread of living without a mobile device or beyond mobile phone contact is getting worse in today’s world especially more obvious among the high school and also the college students. Furthermore, they even take shower or eating with their mobile phone. The development of technology seems to cause humans become backward. It brings convenient to us while bringing also the harmful at the same time.
In the research of Mobile Phone Usage Patterns of Library and Information Science Students at Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria (Esharenana, 2006), the result indicated that the greater part of the students communicated via their own smartphones. The students use their mobile phone whether they were at the shops, kiosks or even the booths. Some of the students also sent and received to their friends by using their friends or relatives’ mobile phone. While most of the students felt that use of mobile phone had limited their demand to travel. However, every student in Communication Studies (WA02) have their various patterns to use the smartphones depend on what situation and what purpose they use for.
A statement that is shown in the article The Impact of Smartphones and Mobile Devices on Human Health and Life (Miakotko, 2017) included the recent scientific real situation and data analysis of the smartphones on human health and life. The main key points determined in this article are the impact of electromagnetic waves on human brains; impact of handheld devices (HHD) usage on human’s upper extremities, back, and neck; impact of the smartphone on drivers; pros and cons of using smartphones; solutions how to ease the impact of mobile devices on human health and life. There are a lot of effects if WA02 students are getting addiction when using the smartphones. Particularly if they use their smartphones under the wrong situation or do not has a good sitting posture, this may cause the severe health problem after a long period.
The SPSS is implemented to process statistical analysis of the data. In Section A of this research study, there were 30 respondents selected randomly among Communication Studies (WA02) students from Faculty of Social Science. Graph 1 (shown in appendices) show that 6 respondents (20%) were male and the other 24 respondents (80%) were female. In Graph 2, the majority of the respondents were from the age group of 21 which consist of 23 respondents (76.7%). There is only 1 respondent (3.3%) in each the age group of 22 and 24. There are 3 respondents (10%) and 2 respondents (6.7%) from the age group of 20 and 23 respectively. In addition, Graph 3 shows that the majority ethnic are Chinese which have 11 respondents (36.7%) while the minority ethnic is Melanau which has only 1 respondent (3.3%). The Indian and Malay have the same frequencies which are 2 respondents (6.7%). The others ethnic which are Bidayuh, Iban and Malay have 3 respondents (10%), 5 respondents (16.7%) and 6 respondents (20%) respectively.
In Section B, the usage pattern of smartphone among WA02 students have been identified. Based on the Graph 4, most of the respondents are using their smartphones for 5 hours and above per day; 70% (n=21). Meanwhile, 30% (n=9) of the respondents are using smartphone between 2 to 4 hours per day as shown in Graph 5. The percentage of the respondents who uses smartphone continuously for more than 1 hour as shown in Graph 6 which are 73% (n=22). Furthermore, Graph 7 showed that respondents who use the smartphone as a small screen computer to complete their assignment are 26.7% (n=8). In Graph 8, all of the respondents (100%) use their smartphones to communicate with distant friends and family. In Graph 9, the usage pattern of smartphone for entertainment has the second highest number of respondents which are 28 respondents (93.3%). Besides that, Graph 10 shows that 86.7% of the respondents (n=26) are using their smartphones for educational purposes. There are 27 respondents (90%) who gets health information via their smartphones which is shown in Graph 11. Other than that, there are few relative number of respondents in the usage pattern that conduct business via their smartphones which are 15 respondents (50%) in Graph 12. In Graph 13 and 14, there were 22 respondents (73.3%) in the pattern usage of smartphone for online shopping and driving/walking respectively. In Graph 15, 21 respondents (70%) agreed that they are addicted to their smartphones.
Referring to Uses and Gratification Theory (UGT), whether what people do with media or what media does to people are depending on how and what is the purpose that the person uses the smartphone. From this survey analysis data, there are 28 respondents (93.3%) who use their smartphones for entertainment such as Facebook. If there is any disorderly behavior on Facebook, this situation will meet the former. However, a coin has two sides. If people use Facebook in the right way, it not only brings the fun for us, but will also improve our relationship among friends and family. According to the article, Mobile Phone Usage Patterns of Library and Information Science Students at Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria (Esharenana, 2006), it indicated that the greater part of the students communicated via their own smartphones and most of the students felt that usage of mobile phone has limit their demand to travel. This identified the different usage patterns of the smartphone among WA02 students.
In section C of the questionnaires, a test was carried out in order to test the level of nomophobia and smartphone addiction level when there is no smartphone. Among the 30 FSS Communication Studies students, 24 (80.1%) of them agreed that they feel uncomfortable because they could not communicate with their family and friends instantly while 25 respondents (83.4%) admitted that they are worried as they cannot be reached by their family and friends if there is no smartphone. Besides that, 23 students which are 76.7% of communication studies students agree that they are anxious as they cannot receive texts messages and calls from their family and friends as well as the difficulty to keep in touch with them. However, 21 respondents (70%) feel nervous as they do not know if they were contacted by someone. Majority of the students which makes up of 21 respondents (70%) are anxious because the instant contact with family and friends would be broken if there is no smartphone but the other half of the 30 students agree that they are nervous because they would be loss connected from their online identity. 17 (56.7%) of the respondents feel uncomfortable as they are not updated with the social media and online networks. 17 respondents (56.7%) agree and 13 respondents (43.3%) disagree that they feel awkward as they could not check their notifications for updates from connections and online networks. 16 respondents (53.3%) are anxious that they could not check email messages when there are no smartphone. On the other hand, 18 (60%) of the respondents feel weird as they would not know what to do without a smartphone. Questionnaire results revealed that 16 respondents out of 30 (53.3%) experience moderate nomophobia and 10 students (33.3%) experience severe nomophobia meanwhile, only 4 students which are 13.3% of the students experience mild nomophobia. This situation clearly describe a quote by Saurabh Sharma which was ‘A smartphone is an e-toy designed for lonely inner child hidden in each and every one of us.’
Next, in section D, for the negative impact of using a smartphone, 26 out of the 30 respondent (86.7%) agreed that using a smartphone while walking may cause accidents and reading under poor light may cause eyesight problems. 17 (56.6%) of the respondents think that using smartphone will result in poor communication and social skills. 22 respondents (73.3%) agree that smartphone will cause difficulty in falling asleep. Insomnia might be caused by the over using smartphone. 19 respondents, 64.4% of respondents agree the long-term use of smartphone may cause back problems. According to Berolo, Wells, & Amick (2011) research, mobile device users faced discomfort of body and long-term usage will causing visual display terminal (VDT) syndrome and eye damage.
On the other hand, there are also positive impacts of using a smartphone. 22 respondents (73.3%) think that smartphone will help in improving academic performance while 20 respondents (66.6%) agree that smartphone can increase income through online business. Besides that, 26 respondents (86.7%) agree that smartphone will strengthen their relationships with their family and friends while 25 respondents (83.3%) agree that playing smartphone helps to release stress. Moreover, almost all students which are 29 students (96.6%) of the sample students agreed that smartphone can be used to get latest information and only 1 respondent (3.3%) is unsure about that statement. According to the journal ‘positive and negative effects of mobile phone on students career’ by Dr. Suryanaray, he noted that people nowadays can easily communicate with anyone from anywhere at anytime because smartphones are becoming small and light which makes it very easy to carry them. Hendricks (2014) also defined that social media is the ways of businesses and organizations communicating with their audiences. Besides that, smartphone is beneficial in studies and business because there are many educational apps that can be used while in the university and there are also some applications that helps to promote businesses such as Whatsapp, Facebook and WeChat that are normally used as a tool of communication with their clients.
Smartphone was a good gadget for communication but at same time, it also had some negative effects to us. Based on the analysis, almost all 30 students suffered from nomophobia. The problematic use of the smartphones particularly affected both women and men and was associated with cyber addiction and sleeping problems. It is also shown that the increased use of smartphones might negatively impact academic performance, mental health, and subjective well-being although there are also some positive impacts. Academic performance will be affected if students addicted to mobile phone. Hence, students must proper usage of smartpone although it brought us many information but it still had disadvantages to us. It convenient us to connect with friends and family but addicted to it will causing several problems for example concentration difficulties which results in negative academic impacts. The pattern of usage of mobile phone showed in WA02 class is majority of the students had nomophobia characteristics. Therefore, the students must be made aware of the advantages and disadvantages while using the mobile phones. Further researches are needed to analyze the existing problem to facilitate the steps to be taken to handle the emerging problem of nomophobia. Among them are university students needed to set their priorities with guidance from the lecturers as well as the parents and guardians of the students. This will not only improve their concentration in class but also indirectly affect their health as they will be able to get a better sleep and fresher mind. Other than that, another recommendation is that students should used their smartphone usage time to do something that can improve knowledge like doing some research. The generation now practically live in their smartphone and that is not very productive. Next, the university must restrict the students from using smartphones in classes and set a strict rule for those who break it. I believe with the recommendations mentioned, it will help students to improve in the studies as well as their health benefits.
Nomophobia Research. (2019, Jul 02).
Retrieved December 9, 2022 , from
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