I recently read about a quickly increasing condition – nomophobia. Do you have it? Nomophobia is defined as the fear of being without your mobile device. According to techvibes.com 20 million Canadians suffer from it. SecureEnvoy, a U.K. based company, found that 66% of people in a survey have it. The phobia extends into anxiety when someone realizes they are without their phone or have no cell signal. Some people even panic.
Nomophobia is rising with the average person relying on their device for almost everything they do. Smartphones are a big part of our lives because a phone isn’t just about making calls anymore. People can do so much; photos, emails, schedules, texting, banking, watching videos and so much more. Think about those times when you were on your way somewhere and you reached into your pocket to check your phone and…gasp…it’s not there. You realized you’ve left it at home. Then a little anxiety sets in and you make the decision to go back and get it. Even if it means being late to where you’re going.
Some studies have shown that women are more attached to their devices than men. Women often check their devices for messages (texts, BBM, Whatsapp). They often are looking for immediate responses from whoever they are in contact with; friends, family, significant other. Seventy percent of women worry about losing their phone while 61% of men do. The Helsinki Institute for Information Technology found in a study that people check their mobile phones an average of 34 times a day.
On another note, I once read that mobile devices are one of the dirtiest items we own. Most people don’t clean their phones. I clean my mine by wiping it with a disinfectant wipe like Lysol Wipes. Tests have discovered so many bacteria found on phones including fecal matter. That shocked me but then I read in a Rogers Innovation Report on tech habits that 83% of people have used their mobile device in the bathroom! So no surprise on finding fecal matter on a phone.
Most people check their cell phone before they even brush their teeth in the morning. Some even sleep with their device by their side. Have you exhibited any of the nomophobia behaviours? Are you nomophobic?
Today, challenge yourself to turn off your device for 2 hours. Don’t check it. Keep it off or on silent so you’re not running to it at every beep. I’d love to hear how you do with this challenge.