Nomophobia Escalates in UK: Can You Live Without Your Mobile Phone?

What if for some reason you couldn’t have your mobile phone for say a week. No, you couldn’t check your emails or your texts. You can’t even glance at the phone to see whose calls you have missed. Would you panic?

That’s exactly how many of our British friends will react, according to a new survey which says that 66 percent of people in the U.K. are horrified at the prospect of not being able to use their phones.

The fact comes from SecurEnvoy via a survey conducted by OnePoll in which Brits were asked whether they would be terrified at the thought of not being able to use their phones. OnePoll polled 1,000 UK residents and found that 66 percent were frightened of being without their mobile phones.

Nomophobia or the fear of being without a mobile phone, according to SecurEnvoy, was first identified in 2008 though a similar survey. Then, researchers found that 53 percent of people in the UK had nomophobia. As a side note, I’m guessing nomophobia comes from “no mobile phobia”. What do you think?

So the fear of being without a mobile phone is spreading and affecting a larger populace in the U.K. I’m thinking this may also apply to other countries. And not only is the fear of without being connected via mobile phone increasing, it has become so great that 41 percent of the respondents of the SecurEnvoy survey via OnePoll said that they carried secondary mobile phones just in case they cannot use their primary mobile phone.

The poll showed other interesting results. According to the poll, more women worry about losing their phones than men with 70% of the women surveyed compared to 61% of the men saying they feared losing their mobile phones. However, it is men who are fonder of carrying two phones – scoring 47% and 36% respectively, perhaps in an effort to stay connected.

In terms of age, the survey says: “When split by age it is the younger age group (18 – 24) that are more nomophobic at 77%, with the 25 – 34 age group second at 68%. Perhaps a little more surprisingly is that third most nomophobic are the 55 and overs!”

“The first study into nomophobia, conducted four years ago, revealed that 53% of people suffered from the condition and our study reveals this has now risen to 66% in the UK and shows no sign of abating,” Andy Kemshall said in a statement.

“A reversal on the 2008 findings is that, back then, it was men that were more afflicted yet today it’s women. I’d be inclined to draw the conclusion that, perhaps because more men have two phones, they’re less likely to misplace both and therefore be left phone-less,” the SecurEnvoy CTO and cofounder added.

“There is another study into mobile phone use that found people check their phones, on average, 34 times a day so it wouldn’t take long for you to realize if you’d misplaced your device,” the SecurEnvoy official said.

Surely, mobile phones are becoming more and more a part of our lives. I know I shudder at the thought of not having mine. How about you? Tell us in the comments below.

Sources: SecurEnvoy via The Telegraph UK / The Daily Mail UK (report on 2008 nomophobia study)

Images 1 & 2 from stevegarfield & Jhaymesiviphotography on Flickr

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