Nomophobia is the fear of being separated from your smartphone, and a new survey indicates that the presence of cell phone separation anxiety is on the rise.
It’s not the first time nomophobia has been looked at, and even on a non-scientific scale, you probably have noticed the increasing attachment people have to cell phones even if you don’t experience the fear yourself.
Back in March, we reported on the reported rise of nomophobia, and a recent survey of 1,000 young people in the United Kingdom which revealed that 66 percent of those questioned exhibited symptoms of the strange but palpably common fear.
Experts say that nomophobia is a natural extension of the way cell phones reward our impatience and boredom with fun and stimulation. Associate professor of psychology James Hamilton recently explained:
“Cellphones are negatively reinforcing because they provide an easy and immediate relief from feelings of anxiety, social exclusion or boredom … This is the great danger of cellphone dependency – the general erosion of our ability to wait, postpone gratification, deal directly with our fears and tolerate being bored or alone with ourselves.”
If you can relate to nomophobia’s feelings, you are certainly not alone — but the likelihood of experiencing it increases if you’re younger.
Rosanna Guadagno, program director of social psychology for the National Science Foundation, says:
“I think college-aged and younger children are particularly at risk for addiction because they use [cellphones] more than older generations.”
Do you feel closely attached to your smartphone? Do you think nomophobia will become more prevalent?