Marijane Funess July 19, 2012 | 02:45:10

Do We All Have Nomophobia?

Last summer on a bike trip through Montreal, my Blackberry was accidentally drenched in sunscreen. The little keypad just oozed off and you could see oil inside the screen. It was messy and sad and caused me to sweat and hyperventilate at the thought of how long I might be without a phone.

Now that I have an iPhone, it’s worse. I am always clutching and checking it – texting, emailing, posting to Facebook, Twitter or checking the NY Post (there’s an app for that!). So the fact that Nomophobia (no mobile phobia) is now a recognized condition is of incredible interest to me.

Here are the signs of the phobia at its worst:

     Feeling anxious if your cellphone isn’t nearby

     Just the thought of losing your phone makes your heart pound

     Taking your phone to bed with you

And if you think you suffer from the affliction, you are not alone. A recent poll found that:

66% of the 1,000 people surveyed say they fear losing or being without their phone.

70% of female respondents fear losing their phones, compared with 61% of males.

People 18-24 tend to be the most nomophobic (77%), followed by those aged 25-34 (68%). The third    most nomophobic group is 55 and older.

What does this mean for cell phone providers? How can they capitalize on this great (for them) information without seeming predatory?

I liken it to the approach of security alarm companies, who preach preparedness and adopt a cautionary tone that, yes, okay, plays a bit into our fears. But I see phone providers leveraging this information to the good by upping the ante on customer service, replacement devices and plans that offer multiple phones where possible.

Of course, the campaigns would be directed mostly to making women feel safe and assured that they will never be too far from a repaired or new phone.
Because I don’t see it changing anytime soon.  Now, where did I put my phone?

7 thoughts on “Do We All Have Nomophobia?

  1. In a rush to a lunch date in midtown, I left my phone on my desk, not realizing it until I was at the restaurant. My lunch companion was about 15 minutes late. It was the longest 15 mins of my life. I felt lost and confused without my phone. I couldn’t check email, browse Twitter, check in on Foursquare, post to Facebook, or even scan Google News.
    I memorized the restaurant menu and briefly considered taxi-ing back to the office for my phone. That’s when I realized I need to calm down and even unplug every now and then.

  2. Same problem here. I was camping with my girlfriend one hot summer and her nail polish expanded and oozed out on my brand new Nokia smartphone, making it unusable. I suddenly felt despair. Worst 3 days ever.

  3. Being a technology freak, I can relate. It is terrible to forget or lose your smartphone. You keep thinking at all the stuff you could have done even though you don’t need it at the time. You just miss it like you would miss a friend. Is that sad?
    Btw, I love the floating fish!

  4. I keep in touch with my friends,texting,emailing so I can’t live without my phone.One time i forgot my phone at home and i was going to meet my friend….worst day ever,i wainted for 30 minutes because i couldn’t call my friend.

  5. I’m a phone freak.I sleep with it under my pillow,i go with it to the bathroom,I eat with it in my pocket.So you know what would it mean to me if something happend to it?You can imagine I will freak out.Nice story!

  6. First,let me tell you that I watched the moving fish for 10 minutes.It’s hilarious!Now,about losing my phone or something happening to it,I must say I would have a crisis.I’m so addicted to my phone that it’s the first and last thing I check when I wake up or go to sleep.Great article!

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