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During the pandemic, smartphones were our window to the world.

The various lockdowns have recorded, everywhere, a spasmodic use of apps and social networks never seen before.

What caused this frenzy of virtual interaction for us?

Researchers from the Ruhr-Universitat of Bochum, Germany, conducted an international study on smartphone use during the pandemic and uncovered a dark side about excessive chat and social use that overcomes "addiction".

This caused in us a low sense of control and constant negative thinking, known as "Fomo", an acronym for "Fear of missing out", which is literally the fear of being cut off: a condition of social anxiety that can lead to serious pathologies.

The 'Fomo' is also based on the fear of missing an opportunity, it is an emotional suffering, directly fueled by access to social networks, which is anchored on the desire to stay in continuous contact with the activities that others do, for fear of being excluded from fulfilling social contexts.

It could be defined as the compulsive worry of losing a social interaction, which is amplified by their rarity in the real world, due to the anti Covid regulations dictated by the global pandemic.

The German researchers in the study published in "Plos One" state: "While smartphones can improve daily routines and social connection, their excessive use can become problematic and negatively affect relationships, work, mental or physical health".

By Vittoria Petrolo

Official Member of IPO Section Italy

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