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What is FOMO and PHUBBING? Digital family addictions

FOMO and PHUBBING are two of the new virtual threats that digital users face. The worst part is that they have repercussions on the people around us. These are hard-to-fight addictions, however it is not impossible.

But let’s start by knowing, what is FOMO?

FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out,

which in Spanish can translate as the “fear of missing something ordisconnecting”,that is, fear of missing everything that happens on the web while we do not connect. That’s why many people feel anxiety when their phone is downloaded, the internet fails in the house, or the light goes out.

We are so used to publishing everything and real-time learning about the lives of others, that disconnecting and “missing” all that relevant information terrifies us.

For the same reason, we become addicted to our devices and it could well be said that “life is everything that happens while we are hours and hours on our cell phone”. The reality is that we get out of important things and relevant moments in our lives and that of our children, because we are “possessed” with the cell phone, or the computer, or the tablet, or television.

There comes that moment when reality surpasses fiction, and that image of us giving likes to photos in Facebook while our children take their first steps or, at worst, swallow something dangerous or fall from some considerable height, it is becoming more and more real.

PhuBBING, mean part, is another evil of the modern era.

It refers to how we ignore others for being with the device in our hand. It’s like not beingpresent, it’s like we become just another piece of furniture by not interacting with those around us.

This is increasingly a serious problem. It is this time we have started to receive complaints that parents of former times did not receive. We have caused our children to raise their voices so that we can take our eyes away from the cell phone and pay attention to them. We have provoked extreme behaviors in them to be taken into account.


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Are we raising a generation of families that no longer live together, do not socialize, do not tell how they did in the day, but are each scattered on their devices?

We need to reflect on whether we devote more attention to social media and digital lifethan to our own children, and we should be able to size what we are teaching them by example.

There are many people who make a living doing various hourly activities on the computer and mobile devices. We can’t help it, we can’t stop doing it because that’s where we get the resources to support our families. The trick is to define times of use,to establish rules, to submit to digital dynamics that do not jeopardize our real life and the relationship with those we love the most.

For example, after eight hours of work in front of the computer, turn it off immediately and return body and mind to our real family life. Another good example is to ban the use of cell phones for any family member at mealtime, or to spend a couple of hours a day – or whatever possible – for offline family coexistence.

Each family finds the dynamics that work best for them, for this one and for any other topic. It’s not about setting rules for all families, it’s about each family finding its own rules.

Let’s not let this new kind of digital addiction affect our relationship with our children. First of all, if you now know of its existence, you’re one step closer to making the right decisions for your life and yours.

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