The Kalevala Finnish Institute for Mobile Health has announced today the results of their landmark Nomophobia study, revealing that the epidemic is growing quickly. If you haven’t heard of Nomophobia, you’re not alone, as a mobile behavioral disorder it is relatively new in the field of mental health research. As we increase our dependency on the mobile phone, we also create emotional dependencies. Most people are acutely aware of where their phone is at all times, but people who suffer from Nomophobia take their mobile fixation a bit further.
Wikipedia defines Nomophobia as:
Nomophobia is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. The term, an abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia”, was coined during a 2010 study by the UK Post Office who commissioned YouGov, a UK-based research organization to look at anxieties suffered by mobile phone users. The study found that nearly 53% of mobile phone users in Britain tend to be anxious when they ‘lose their mobile phone, run out of battery or credit, or have no network coverage.’ The study found that about 58% of men and 47% of women suffer from the phobia, and an additional 9% feel stressed when their mobile phones are off.
You might be wondering, how is exactly is this disorder contagious? It’s very likely that you’ve witnessed Nomophobia yourself. Have you ever noticed in social settings that when one person pulls out their phone that others do too? Why is that?
The recent European mobile study followed a bunch of students to see how much anxiety they felt when their phones were out of reach. Researchers were studying if this anxiety carry over to others. Just like panic in a movie theater when someone yells fire, mobile panic spreads quickly throughout a crowd.
Dr. K. Siltanen is the lead psychologist for the study, remarked:
All of these, how do you say in English, “phone nerds”, all they want is their phone. [shrugs] Maybe it’s all they have going for them?? It’s like a baby and their bottle.
There you have it folks, science has spoken. Wait…. This sounds kind of made up.
Moral of the story, if you’re at dinner and your special lady or guy pulls out their phone, you’re very likely to as well. It doesn’t have to be that way. Don’t be a follower, be a leader! Just say no to Nomophobia!