Thursday, May 10, 2012

Poll shows 2/3 suffer 'separation anxiety' with regard to their cell phones

Right on the heels of a study that showed that cell phone users can't live without their devices, comes a poll that says that people agree: 2/3 of those polled are afraid of being separated from their devices.

Somewhat like "separation anxiety disorder," except based on device separation, at least some of these polled would appear to have a "disorder": nomophobia, or the fear of being minus your mobile phone.

The study polled 1,000 people in the U.K., and was sponsored by the digital security company SecurEnvoy. It showed that about 66 percent, or about 2/3, of people are afraid of either losing or being separated from their phones. Four years ago, the percentage was significantly less, with 53 percent of people saying that they were afraid of losing or being without their phones.

In addition, 41 percent of those polled said they owned more than one mobile phone.

More women than men - 70 percent, versus 61 percent - reported being afraid of losing their cell phones. The opposite is true in terms of owning more than one cell phone. Men are more likely than women - 47 percent versus 36 percent - to own two or more cell phones.

As you might expect from other studies focusing on less obsessive-compulsive / anxiety-based behaviors and mobile phones, age has something to do with it. Young adults - aged between 18 and 24 - appear to be the most addicted to their mobile phones, with 77 percent missing their phone badly after a few minutes. Those aged 25 to 34 followed closely at 68 percent.

That closely tracks the fact that more youthful mobile phone users spend a lot more time "embracing" their devices.

Nomophobia is a play on "No mobile phone phobia." In the U.K., it is sometimes called T-Mobophobia, playing off mobile phone giant T-Mobile (not respecting T-Mobile USA, which is tiny compared to Verizon and AT&T in the U.S.).

Although labeled a phobia, in reality it is an anxiety disorder, similar to OCD or panic attacks.

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