Your mobile device isn’t in its usual spot … your back pocket. It’s not on the charger. It’s not in your back pocket. It’s not on the charger. You check your pocket again. Then you head to the car. Then, back to the charger.
If you have trouble functioning without your mobile device, you are not alone. In fact, you might be suffering from Nomophobia.
Nomophobia describes the anxiety many feel when they are without the use of their mobile phone. The phrase was coined after the findings of a 2008 British study. The researchers found that 53% of survey participants suffered anxiety that was on par with wedding day jitters and dental examinations, when they are without usage of their phones.
Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said the need for constant connectivity was driven mainly by a desire to keep in touch with friends and family. Ten percent said that work demands required them to stay reachable at all times. More than half of the nomophobes never turned off their phones.
This phenomenon has spread at an even pace with mobile adoption rates. SecurEnvoy’s more recent study found that the number of nomophobes has risen to 66%.
Interestingly, more women worry about loss of mobile connectivity than men – 70% of the women surveyed compared to 61% of the men. However, the men were more likely to have more than one mobile device to maintain connectivity.
Not surprising, 18-24 year olds were the most nomophobia-prone. This is not, however, an epidemic of the young. People over the age of 55 were the third most nomophobic lot.
It’s debatable whether anxiety caused by mobile disruption rises to a phobic level. Irrefutable is the extent with which mobile devices have changed our world and our experiences.
The 2008 study was sponsored by a UK Post Office who commissioned YouGov, a UK-based research organisation to look at anxieties suffered by mobile phone users.
Thisislondon.co.uk. April 1, 2008