If you’ve ever been forgetful enough to leave your phone at home for a day, or if heavens forbid you to lose it entirely, then you know the feeling of anxiety over the mobile separation. To be without your mobile device will make you feel nervous and confused, as though you don’t have a connection to the outside world. The fear and feeling associated with the absence of a mobile phone have become so prevalent that it has been given its name; nomophobia. Nomophobia refers to the feeling of fear and discomfort that many people encounter when they don’t have access to their mobile. Recent surveys have shown that 53 percent of cell phone users in the UK feel nervous without their handset, even if it’s just out of charge. This anxiety has nothing to do with not being able to make and receive phone calls, and much more to do with the fact that cell phones have become a kind of continuation of ourselves.
In 2017, government-aided research showed a survey, 96 percent of UK residents between the ages of 16 and 34 were confirmed to have some kind of smartphone, and a typical user would touch their smartphone 2,617 times every single day. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that people are seriously impacted by the loss of their smartphone.
Smartphones allow access to an unimaginable number of applications, tools, and facilities, as well as the storage of all our images, videos, and messages. We have become dependent on them for everything from directions and maps to handling our diaries, and when all of a sudden we no longer have access to all this stuff, it causes us to panic. While nomophobia is not common good as a medical disease, it is a real feeling that thousands of us encounter it regularly.
Who’s impacted by the nomophobia?
Different individuals also suffer from various degrees of nomophobia inclination, depending on how they value and view their smartphones. Those that are less reliant on the computer will be less affected by the lack of it, while those who are stuck to their phones 24 hours a day will suffer from more extreme nomophobia symptoms. It is related to the fear of losing out (FOMO) and the fear of being offline (FoBo), which are both anxieties that have come about due to our high-tech lifestyles and community.
Why are we experiencing nomophobia?
Some psychologists claim that it is not the loss of the device itself that causes nomophobia, but what counts on the phone. Internet-connected devices allow us to deal with a lot of different aspects of our day-to-day lives, with several people living in a lifeline single unit. It has been proposed that, because these phones contain so much knowledge and so many specifics about our lives, we have formed an emotional dependence on them. Mobile devices help us to keep track of what is happening with our friends and families and to keep us up-to-date with our everyday routines. One in three adults in the UK checks their phones during the night, and one in ten hits their phones as soon as they wake up every morning. When the devices are missing or withdrawn from the routine, users are filled with a sense of confusion and panic.