Some individuals have a strong fear of being detached from their smartphones, and there's a term for this condition – nomophobia.
Nomophobia, short for "no mobile phone phobia," is not officially recognized as a psychological disorder, but it is becoming increasingly common among people.
While not many people are familiar with the term, when you explain its symptoms, which include anxiety, sleep disturbances, boredom, and even depression in the face of the possibility of losing one's phone, they can identify with the addictive behavior.
A recent survey of over 1,000 US consumers found that one-third of Americans (33%) surveyed considered themselves as experiencing nomophobia.
Nearly half of the respondents indicated that they knew at least a few people who suffered from nomophobia, and around 14% claimed to know hundreds of individuals with this fear.
HostingAdvice released this survey in the lead-up to the holidays and provided a list of recommendations for what to buy for nomophobes. The list primarily includes gadgets that can complement their smartphones, such as subscriptions to streaming apps, wireless mobile photo printers, and smartwatches, among other items.
It's important not to gift any gadgets to someone whom you suspect might be genuinely suffering from nomophobia. In more severe cases, individuals can experience trembling, disorientation, and changes in breathing, among other symptoms, simply because they can't locate their device or fear losing it.
According to the report, men (39%) tend to suffer from nomophobia more frequently than women (28%), with 23% of male respondents spending a minimum of four hours on their phones each day.
One-fifth of self-identified nomophobes stated that they wouldn't be able to survive without a phone. However, some of them would be willing to part with their devices if:
- They won the lottery – 50%
- They could find the perfect mate – 26%
- They never had to work again – 23%
- They could find the perfect job – 22%
- They could live abroad – 16%
Frequently, individuals with nomophobia experience anxiety. They impulsively reach for their phones as a means to avoid social contact on numerous occasions. They consistently ensure that their phones remain fully charged to prevent disconnection at all costs.
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