WTF is Nomophobia?
Another new day, another named phobia, but this one will have you questioning if you suffer from it. It’s called “nomophobia” and it’s the fear of being without your phone. Coined in 2010 in the U.K., nomophobia stands for No Mobile Phone. And while scientists with nothing better to do than debate whether this is an actual phobia versus an anxiety disorder, we can all agree people are becoming very attached to their smart phone devices.
“I lost my phone the other day,” said a participant in the study, “And I thought, no problem, as soon as I find my phone, I can locate it my using the app Find My Phone.”
The degree in which people have come to depend on their phones has reached an all-time high. Our calendars, our contacts, our photographs, our entire lives are on our phones. In fact, researchers are now learning that the relationship we have with our phones is like a relationship we might have with another human being.
“If I lost my phone, I don’t know what I’d do,” explained another participant. “If I lost my boyfriend, I’d just get another one.”
So how do you measure the levels of nomophobia to know if you suffer from this affliction? Researchers have come up with a game called 20 Questions to dumb it down make it attractive to a core base of millennials. After tallying up the scores, scientists were able to place individuals in one of three categories: mild, moderate, or severe nomophobia.
“When I was told I suffered from moderate nomophobia,” said yet another participant, “I was a little disappointed. Once again I am just average.”
Fortunately for test takers, scientists who suffer from “short attention span” where able to narrow down the questions from 20 to just 8. In no particular order, here are the questions to ponder to see if you suffer from nomophobia.
- You Can’t Stop Checking Your Phone – I mean you never know, something may have happened somewhere in the world during the last five minutes and you should know about it. It’s called being aware, people.
- You Freak Out When You Can’t Find Your Phone – I mean who wouldn’t? What if your phone falls into the wrong hands? You can’t let just anybody see those nude selfies of yourself and others. However, unchecked this becomes a problem when your anxiety becomes full blown paranoia and you accuse others of stealing your phone.
- You Can’t Sleep Without It – I mean it’s only natural. Many people charge their phones while they sleep and use the plug closest to their bed. So why not just place your phone on the pillow next to you. It’s not like anyone else is using it.
- No Service Equates to Nap Time – I mean why bother having a conversation with someone if you can’t fact check what they are saying. It’s called being present in the moment. And since sleeping with a phone lessens the quality of sleep, this is the perfect time to earn back that beauty rest.
- You Break Rules – I mean rules are often just guidelines. When the movie theater says you can’t use your phone, what they are really saying is turn off the sound and lower the light. It’s called being conscientious of others.
- You Over Rely for Communication – I mean all communication is good. Just because you text your coworker in the cubicle next to you rather than get up and speak the English language can have more with confidentiality. It’s not everyone’s business where we will be meeting for drinks after work.
- No Phone Left Behind – I mean it’s for the greater good. Even if it causes you to be late for work, a first date, or dinner with your parents, it’s best to just turn around now and retrieve your phone. If you don’t, you won’t be able to concentrate on whatever the project is, the attributes are, or how grueling it is to maintain a conversation without your phone on the dinner table next to you.
- You Dream About Your Phone – I mean this is just weird, but just the other night I dreamed that I lost my phone and when I picked it up at human resources office, I was naked. Clearly that’s in the normal range, but here’s where it got weird, my phone was the brick kind from the 80’s, and even though I had a Birkin to put it in, I refused. Then I woke up in a sweat. What a nightmare!
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