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How Long Would You Last Without Your Cellphone?

If you’re like two thirds of the population, you would experience fear over the prospect of being without your mobile phone.

A new study sponsored by the UK’s SecurEnvoy shows 70% of women and 61% of men have nomophobia – fear of being without your mobile phone. (The company attributes the higher rate among women to the fact they’re less likely to have two phones.)

While it sounds ridiculous (and like a major “First World Problem“), think of the last time you left your phone somewhere and how you reacted. The concern goes beyond simply having your data compromised or the phone lost or stolen and having to buy a replacement.

In this always-on, always-connected digital age, people expect you to be in constant contact and assume the worst if they can’t reach you. They can become frustrated or paranoid if your communication habits change inexplicably. And this is only going to get worse as cell phones become even more prevalent – CNET notes when nomophobia was first identified four years ago, only 50% reported anxiety when they were out of cell phone contact.

While it seems silly to write the words, I think I would identify myself as a nomophobe. Part of it may come from habits I’ve formed since becoming a cellphone user. I’m used to texting people regularly, and sending and receiving emails on the go, and checking the time or weather or social networks using my phone. When I’ve left it somewhere, I suddenly don’t have access to those abilities. While it’s obviously not drastic, you do feel like something it missing.

Nomophobia may sound ridiculous, but it’s here to stay. Do you identify yourself as a nomophobe? Or am I and the rest like me completely out to lunch and our priorities are out of whack? Let me know in the comments!

-PG

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