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‘Nomophobia’—Fear Of Being Without Cell Phone—On The Rise

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February 20th, 2012

There’s this new affliction out there in the world called “nomophobia.” Maybe you have it.

The named is derived from the phrase “no-mobile-phobia” and, obviously, it is what people are starting to call the fear of being without one’s mobile phone.

It sounds pretty stupid, I know, but this is actually turning into a real thing.

A new online survey conducted by a company called SecurEnvoy found that 66% of people say they fear losing or being without their cell phones. That’s up from 53% of people only four years ago.

In other words, people are starting to experience genuine anxiety over just the idea of being unable to call, text, or email friends, loved ones, or police.

Interestingly, while the survey from four years ago found nomophobia to be more prevalent in men than women, today the reverse is true. The recent poll found that 70% of female respondents were afraid of being without their cell, but only 61% of male respondents reported such a fear.

And as you would expect, the rate of nomophobia among the general population decreases with age: 77% respondents ages 18-24 said they feared being cellular-less, while the rate was only 68% among those 25-34 years of age. Not surprisingly, the number of people with nomophobia over the age of 55 was negligible.

So what’s the significance of these findings?

Well, I’m no social scientist, but I would say this is a problematic trend. If the idea of walking down the street without being able to poke your friends on Facebook (wait, do people still do that?) causes you actual stress, you probably need to get a grip.

Personally, I've got more important things to worry about—like taxes, and whether or not I set the DVR to record the new episode of The Voice.

But what do you think? Big problem, or no big deal?

[via LA Times]

About
I am a freelance writer specializing in sports, humor, politics, technology, and, from time to time, pop culture. Also, Esteban is not my real name, but I wish was.
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