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Nomophobia -- fear of being without your phone -- is on the rise

February 17, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • A man talks on a cell phone at Cannes, circa 2005. A recent online survey says nomophobia, the fear of being without a cell phone, is on the rise.
A man talks on a cell phone at Cannes, circa 2005. A recent online survey says… (Patricia Williams / Los…)

Do you feel anxious if your cellphone isn't nearby?

Does just the thought of losing your phone make your heart pound?

Do you keep an extra phone on hand, just in case your primary phone breaks?

Do you sometimes take it to bed with you?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you may be a nomophobe, and you are not alone.

Nomophobia -- the fear of being without your cellphone -- is on the rise, according to a new report sponsored by SecurEnvoy, a company that specializes in digital passwords.

Using the online polling service OnePull, SecurEnvoy found that 66% of the 1,000 people surveyed in the United Kingdom say they fear losing or being without their phone.

Just four years ago a similar survey found that only 53% of people suffered from nomophobia (no-mobile-phobia).

Back then, men were more likely to fear being without their phones, but today women are more concerned about being disconnected.

SecurEnvoy's study found that 70% of female respondents fear losing their phones, compared with 61% of male respondants.

However, men are more likely to have two phones than women, which may account for that discrepancy.

People 18-24 tend to be the most nomophobic (77%), followed by people aged 25-34 (68%). The third most nomophobic group is 55 and older.

Is there a cure for nomophobia?

According to the website allaboutcounseling.com, nomophobes can be treated by exposure therapy. First a person can start imagining what it would be like to be without a phone. And then maybe spend small amounts of time away from the phone.

But if it's really bad, you might consider medication.

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-- Deborah Netburn

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