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Nomophobia and the Fear of Being without a mobile Phone
07 Sep 2020
by Shelley

Have you ever left the house without your phone and felt completely panicked?

Or when your phone is out of reach, do you feel like you’re missing a limb?

Then you’re not alone and there is a name for it. And it’s ‘Nomophobia’!

The study 'NOMOPHOBIA: NO MObile PHone PhoBIA' (Battachayra et al) defines nomophobia as: ‘a psychological condition when people have a fear of being detached from mobile phone connectivity.’ The symptoms listed are:

  • Anxiety

  • Respiratory alterations

  • Trembling

  • Perspiration

  • Agitation

  • Disorientation

  • Tachycardia.

Nomophobia is something we can probably all relate to some degree - it’s incredibly common.

A 2013 UK YouGov survey found that more than half of the respondents reported experiencing nomophobia.

We've all had that moment of panic where your stomach drops and you frantically search your bag for your phone, only to find out it's been in your back pocket the whole time. The phrase 'my whole life is in that phone' is probably muttered thousands of times a day across the world.

But it's more than that. Phones are changing the way we interact and how we exist as these handy little devices mean we are constantly switched on.

Shambare et al (2012), says that cell phones are “possibly the biggest non-drug addiction of the 21st century”. 

A 2018 survey by OFCOM calls the 2010s a ‘decade of digital dependency’ and found that people in the UK now check their phone an average of every 12 minutes of the waking day.

Although phones bring us together, there is also increasing evidence that they are having a real impact on relationships and the quality of interactions with other humans. The OFCOM survey found that 54% of respondents admitted that connected devices interrupt face-to-face conversations with friends and family. More than two in five (43%) admitted to spending too much time online.

Time to take a break from your phone?

Like it or loathe it, our mobile phones are now a permanent fixture in our lives, so showing the phone who's boss and managing our relationship with the technology it is vital to our relationships, development, and wellbeing.

We know, it's very hard to put down that little rectangle of dopamine, but the techtimeout community is here to help by promoting a positive tech/life balance. We’re here to share tips, insights, and courses to help you to have a healthier relationship with tech.

Our blog ‘Top Tips on How to Unplug’ is full of top tips to help you to moderate your relationship with tech.