Nomophobia: Look at me, please! (Review from Short Series “Modern Family”)

A new term has been coined to describe the problematic attachment many have to technology:

“Nomophobia” is the strong and irrational fear of being apart
from your phone. The website Nomophobia com offers a test titled
“Are you a nomophobe?” (Parenteau, 2014).

          Parenteau (2014) states that technology plays a vital role students like you and me today. Often, it can be a superb assent to help you in accessing information and brush up your work efficiency.

“Using it too much, though, can prevent you from accomplishing anything
and have harmful psychological effects.
Go ahead and use your favorite devices for work and
play, just try to not get too attached ” (Parenteau, 2014).

        Try to look around, what are your friends doing when the lecturers have not entered the classroom? What are they looking at when they are waiting for the food to be served in the restaurants? What are the students doing when they are walking back from lecture hall to their college? No doubt, they are on their smartphones and electronic gadgets.

         The video on Modern Family reflects the true colors of the global contemporary families, both nuclear and extended family. The video postulated much realistic daily behavior by our society today via the epitome of Claire’s family. To a certain extent, the story is presented in a sarcastic manner to show that the society nowadays is overwhelmed by the attachment on technology especially on the telecommunication gadgets that they actually do not realize that the rapport between them has been gaped.

         The short story started when the mother of the family, Claire was at the O’ Hare International airport. While waiting for the boarding time, she grabbed her time to have a short interact with her husband, Phil Dunphy.  Before she left for the trip, he had a fight with her eldest daughter, Haley Dunphy. Thus, she utilized her Mac Book to send messages to Haley to ask if she is still mad at her.

       Before she could have received any reply from Haley, she started face chat with her husband to talk about their daughters. While having face chat with Phil, she opens the online news to read on the latest news. One current social behavior reflected here is the multitasking behavior carried out by most of the people today. Not only that, people is getting relied on the “To Do List” in our laptop, like Claire. In fact, the dependence on this shaped some over rely on oneself over the technology. In other word, we will forget on the routine with the absence of our “To Do List” in the laptop.

         On top of that, the video also shows us that the indulgence in telecommunication devices that the Dunphy’s family that they are ignorant of the others’ presence. The uncertain respond by the father, Phil Dunphy when Claire was asking if Haley was at homes shows that the family members do not even notice whether the others are around or vice versa. Instead of spending time together, they spend more time on the Internet and personal communication via the social media. For instance, Phil does not even know that Alex Dunphy, his second daughter was actually sitting right behind him at the kitchen for some time because he was too indulged in the video game.

       Not only that, the video reveals that the Internet creates a virtual platform to express our emotion. Like Claire, she started to be enraged when her message was not replied by Harley. She then assumed that Haley who had a fight with her before this, was still mad at her. She started to change her “tune” in the message by saying that it was just a small matter and blamed Harley for being too dramatic. In this case, we couldn’t deny that Internet creates a chance for people to express their emotion via words.

         The word “DRAMATIC!!!” written in all capital words with three exclamatory marks reflect Claire angry emotion and the sense of appointing the anger to Haley. Worth mentioning, the sarcastic part here is, during the fight, Claire even took the video when she was fighting with Harley and that has triggered Haley’s nerve. In the older Chinese proverb, there was a saying that, the ugly side or bad side of family should not be published to the outsiders to protect the reputation of the family. However from here we can see, the modern family has changed. The value of a family has transformed.

        On the other side, Alex Dunphy, the sister of Harley was also on the face chat with her mother, Claire. She has become the middle person between Claire and her Haley when the messages of Claire to Haley were not replied thou they are delivered.  As a student, Alex was requested to send her essay writing on Netzshe culture through the Facebook Inbox Message. This indicates that the parents monitor child’s work through the internet, instead of Face-to-Face.  Not only that, we can see that Alex was actually neglected by Claire due to the fight between Haley and Claire. While Alex was sending the essay to Claire, at the same time, Claire was trying to stalk the latest updates on Haley using a fake Facebook account named Brody Kendall since her daughter has not approved her friend request on Facebook. She did not really pay attention on Alex who was trying to explain on her paragraphs.

         Another scene in this video is that signing up a fake Facebook account to stalk others’ updates seem to be a trendy stuff nowadays especially among parents and children. But let’s ponder, doesn’t this significant a gap of trust between children and parents? Why do the children refuse to approve parents’ friend request on social networking and at the same time why do parents need to monitor their children through a way which provision of privacy take place?

         Via this video of Modern Family, we found that this is a very modern trend nowadays which actually brings us pluses and minuses.

        In some of our readings, there are several arguments on the attachment of students towards the technology. Taking the instance of E-readers or some relevant devices designed primarily for reading e-books which have taken the world by storm, which has explored onto the marketplace in recent years (van der Velde as cited in Read, Robertson & McQuilken, 2011), some purveyors of E-readers claimed that the traditional books or paper books are “dead” and online technology is leading the future. Hence, some researches are focusing on this to examine the e-readings consumption and evaluation in the context of academic readings (Chu as cited in Read, Robertson & McQuilken, 2011).

      David et al. as cited in Read, Robertson & McQuilken, 2011 states that the premier model used to study the consumption of technology among readers is the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). The study on TAM has received both applauses and criticism which includes the neglect on the impacts on the emotion of readers in order to adapt to the technology adoption. This model aims to see how the readers adopt the technology and what emotion impacts they have in this. Simultaneously, Yun (2013) has the similar study which he identifies and understands the consumers especially for the sky rocketed high popularity of digital gadgets. In his research he wants to determine the tendency of relative obsolescence which involves the substitution of a product regardless if the demise of its perfect functioning.

       On the other side, 2012 EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology has also rated that a laptop emerge to become the most extremely essential tool for academic access where 85 percent of students has voted for it,

        Many students utilize technology to do their schoolwork—to access documents provided by teachers, to do research, to write papers, and so on. To most, the right technological device is essential to getting work done.

       You see, technology has penetrated the students’ life. They just can’t leave without laptop. In fact the use of technology on academic can bring pros and cons. As stated below,

“Technology use can also be a major hindrance to students,
however. All the quality information the Internet can provide is useless
if it is lost among page after page of outdated, misleading, or just plain
wrong “information” turned up by your favorite search engine.
The Web is also, of course, full of time-wasters.
Fall into the black hole of Facebook or BuzzFeed, and the hours
you had meant to spend working on a research
paper have vanished” (Parenteau, 2014).


Parenteau, D. (2014). Are you overly attached to technology? Retrieved from

Read, W., Robertson, N. & McQuilken, L. (2011). A novel romance: The technology acceptance model with emotion      attachment. Australasian Marketing Journal, 19(4), 223.

Yun, Y. (2013). Understanding product attachment and expected product lifetime by extending technology acceptance    model (TAM) with product personalisation and innovation diffusion theory (IDT). United States: ProQuest LLC.



  1. Nur Intan Aulia Natasha · March 31, 2015

    Hello turtletouille, ya sy setuju dengan pendapat kamu dalam ‘laman’ ini yang mana masyarakat sekarang sangat bergantung kepada teknologi terutamannya rangkaian internet. Segelintir masyarakat pada masa kini lebih selesa dan gemar berkomunikasi menggunakan laman sosial walaupun mereka berada dalam institusi kekeluargaan sendiri. Perkara ini kita dapat buktikan seperti mana yang kamu jelaskan didalam “pena” kamu berdasarkan rujukan video. Pada pendapat saya berkomunikasi melalui media sosial ada kebaikan dan keburukkannya yang tersendiri dan terpulang kepada individu itu sendiri untuk menilainya. Tetapi kita perlu sedar bahawa berkomunikasi secara atas talian ini bukan sahaja dapat merenggankan ikatan kekeluargaan contohnya walaupun hakikatnya kita terpaksa mengakui bahawa cara ini dapat menjimatkan masa, ruang dan juga peluang serta dapat berhubung tanpa sempadan. hihihi, btw nice to meet u turtletouille!!!!


    • turtletouille · April 1, 2015

      Thank you Nur Intan Aulia Natasha. Nice to meet you too! Kami bersetuju dgn pandangan kmu. Pendedahan awal kpd gadgets teknologi seperti smartphone dan tablet mahupun komputer game dapat mengakibatkan pembentukan ke arah “attachment’ secara emotionally atas gadgets-gadgets. konsikuensinye, individual akan menngalami kerenggangan rapport antara satu sama lain.
      Thank you sekali lagi kerana sudi member masa dan pandangan yg konstruktif!


      • Nur Intan Aulia Natasha · April 1, 2015

        Yaa, sama-sama turtletouille, Di sini jelas menunjukan bahawa peranan dan sikap ibu bapa itu sendiri yang membentuk kepada situasi ini. Apa-apa pun tq sbb sudi berkongsi pendangan dengan saya.


  2. fivecloud · April 1, 2015

    nice review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. borneocorner · April 1, 2015

    wow!!! nice review … this is the first time to read about nomophobia…

    Liked by 1 person

    • turtletouille · April 1, 2015

      Thank you BorneoCorner. Nomophobia is a new term indeed, referring to the attachment towards technology. We are pleased to provide you a new knowledge here. Let’s share and exchange knowledge with us! Thanks again!


  4. milestone five · April 1, 2015

    nice entry 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. com-tech.talks · April 2, 2015

    Nice! First time I heard about Nomophobia. A question, I think multitasking is good, you can do many things at once but do you think it’s wise to multitasks like Claire did, online, even it gets the job done?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. turtletouille · April 2, 2015

    Thank you Com-tech.talks. I get your point, to a certain extent, multitasking can get your job done, but it doesn’t not really gives high efficiency. I remember Mr Tan Boo Seng, my contemporary psychology lecturer in first year told us, we are actually not doing many task in one time, but we are actually using more time to do many things. This is what I perceive on the multitasking part. Like Claire you see, she was actually neglecting some stuff while doing so many things. For instance, like I mentioned in the blog above, she neglected her second daughter, Alex who wanted to show her the essay she has drafted.Because Claire was doing so many things(opening so many chat box), she couldn’t focus on specific things.


  7. TheGeeks · April 2, 2015

    thank you for introducing me of the word “nomophobia” (and i think i have this kind of fear, but that is because it is relevant and significant)
    Reading through this article, indeed, Internet have change the way of communications. Yet, i have seen this kind of scenario of family feud without internet. The mum who constantly worried about their children, the children being rebellious and feeling of resentment against their parents, all the family work out their differences and settle things down for better. The way I see it, the internet are not changing the dynamic of a family, but alter the medium of the dynamic. Let me explain by using the modern family. In this epi, claire (the mum) who are fighting with her daughter (haley) have some kind of melodrama episode. Then, she involved the entire family (her dad, step mum, his brother`s family) into her saga of “finding haley” as if she was trafficked into some country. and finally they found out Haley was fine after all. Seems familiar rite? but the interesting here is, this melodrama happen in a laptop and using the internet to gather everyone (in this case face time).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s