Over Half of All People Suffer from Nomophobia
By Tom Leddo
If you left home for work without your mobile phone would you turn around and go get it?
What about if you were just
going to the grocery store?
Actually I have done both.
Nomophobia – the fear of being out of mobile phone contact.
According to Wikipedia, Nomophobia stands for No Mobile Phone Phobia and is a phrase that was coined in a 2010 study by the UK Post Office which commissioned a UK-based research firm to study the anxieties suffered by mobile phone users.
Setting aside the question of why the postal office spends money on studies of this nature, some of the findings are very interesting.
- 58% of men and 47% of women suffer from nomophobia.
- 53% of mobile phone users feel anxious when they lose their phone, have a dead battery or are outside a reliable coverage area.
- One in two people never cut their phone off.
This study was completed in 2010. Surely in 2015 the iOS and Android devices have only driven these stats higher.
Business Insider (“BI”) published an article that cites Dr. David Greenfield at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine who connected smartphone addiction to dysregulation of dopamine. BI quotes Greenfield as saying, “Every time you get a notification from your phone, there’s a little elevation in dopamine that says you might have something that’s compelling, whether it is a text message from someone you like, an email, or anything. The thing is you don’t know what it’s going to be or when you are going to get it, and that’s what compels the brain to keep checking. It’s like the world’s smallest slot machine.”
Personally, I often experience phantom vibrations on my belt and reach for my phone even when it is not vibrating.
Having my mobile phone at work is a necessity. Not only do the majority of people who call me for work purposes use my mobile number rather than my desk phone, I get countless texts and emails throughout the workday.
Having my mobile phone at the grocery store… well I do use a grocery app for my shopping list and if I don’t have my phone handy I’ll end up going back to the store because I forgot something on my shopping list-app.
While I am completely capable of putting my phone in airplane mode when working-out or on vacation so I can still use it for music or as a heart-rate monitor without interruptions, I’ll be candid in saying that I feel a little naked if I don’t have my phone with me wherever I am and would probably go back to get it regardless just to keep it with me.