If you own a cell phone, you’ve probably forgotten to take it with you at some point. Do you panic and return to retrieve it, no matter how far you’ve gone? Do you shrug your shoulders and not give it a second thought? Do you keep going on your merry way, but are stressed until you return home to claim your phone?
Nomophobia is the fear of being without your mobile phone. Whether or not you can relate to this condition, nomophobia is on the rise. A recent survey of 1000 people in the UK conducted by SecureEnvoy found that 66% of the respondents feared being without their mobile phones, up from 53% the previous year. Women and younger people (ages 18-24) were the most likely to suffer from nomophobia, though men were more likely to own two mobile phones.
Symptoms of nomophobia include always having your phone on, sleeping with your phone nearby, and anxiety if you are without your phone.
As phones become “smarter”, they function as much more than phones. Smartphones can become a virtual Swiss Army knife, serving many purposes, including:
- music player
- video game player
- social media connector
- search engine
- email server
- conversion table
- video player
- texting device
The study didn’t distinguish between those who owned a smartphone and those who owned a standard mobile phone, but my guess is that those who suffer from nomophobia are mostly those who own smartphones.
How do you feel about your phone? Is your mobile phone your constant companion? Do you become more stressed when you don’t have access to your mobile phone? Are you dependent on your smartphone to perform many functions in your life? Vote in today’s Wonder of Tech poll and let us know how you feel about your cell phone.
This YouTube video shows a study in which a participant, Will Cooke, agreed to give up his mobile phone for a week. The study, conducted by Lowri Davies, Catherine Williams and Joshua Trenchard for a university project, shows what happens to Will as he endured a week without his mobile phone.
If the symptoms of nomophobia seem disturbingly familiar to you, check out nomophobia.com for tips on dealing with the condition.
How important is your cell phone? Is it as necessary to you as your wallet or do you find yourself forgetting it when you leave the house? Let us know in the Comments section below!
Check out my guest post at Start Your Novel: Is Tech the Villain of Your Story?
* Nomophobia iPhone image by Geoff R (altered)