How familiar does this sound to you? You get ready to go to work, walk halfway to the bus stop or train and realise you’ve left your mobile phone on the side at home. Your world instantly shatters in a million pieces around you. You start to panic, wondering what you’re going to do now to doss off work as Facebook is unfortunately blocked on your office PC. Well there is a name for this; it’s called nomophobia which literally translates to “the fear of being without your phone”

Mobile phones have become a part of our lives. We take selfies, keep up with friends on social networking, and recently started catching Pokemon. They’re crucial to human existence. Okay, too far? Maybe so, but damn, my phone would be good to have in the office right now. This is going to be the worst day ever!

Apparently according to a recent survey, 73% of us 40 million smart phone owners in Britain become quite anxious when we don’t have access to a mobile phone. The study was conducted by insurance specialists Row.co.uk. Says a lot about us really. We’d rather be looking at our 5 inch screens than actually taking in life around us.

According to the survey, Facebook took up the most time using a phone equating to 23 minutes per day. The average 18-24 year old use their phones for around a whopping 6 hours and 17 minutes per day. Over a quarter of our days are spent on mobiles. Following that, 17.5 minutes is spent texting, 17 minutes listening to music and 13 minutes making calls. Although in this day and age, 13 minutes seems a little high.

If you’re shocked at that, listen to this. People came forward admitting that they browsed social media while in the cinema, and a handful even checked their timeline while on a date. Obviously if you’re waiting for your partner to come back from the toilet you’re excused. It’s been admitted that phones have been getting in the way of a good night’s sleep and even some people’s sex lives, according to Row.co.uk.

Thomas Stewart, chartered psychologist with the British Psychological Society said the phenomenon will “only get worse” as we become more reliant on the technology to function in modern society. However his prognosis is not all doom and gloom, he said: “Calling it a phobia is a bit over dramatic, the truth is today phones have invaluable technology which we need on a day-to-day basis. Not having access to Facebook so you can’t see someone’s pointless post is one thing but not being able to access emails, look at your bank account, book flights or hotels on the fly – that can be cause of concern.”

There is some reason behind people’s anxiousness though. The most common answers were not being able to contact friends and family (52%) being unable to be contacted (43%), being unable to check social media (18%), being unable to check the news (15%) and being unable to take photos and videos (8%). What was the percentage rate of not being able to catch Pokemon?

Are you like me and leave your mobile at home? What do you feel anxious about? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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Stef Murphy

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