200px-cell_by_stephen_king.jpg This is London

Getting married, starting a job or going to the dentist have long been recognised as sources of great stress. But it seems they are now matched by a new, peculiarly 21st century affliction – the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. Millions apparently suffer from “no mobile phobia” which has been given the name nomophobia. They have become so dependent on their mobile that discovering it is out of charge or simply misplacing it sends stress levels soaring.

More than 13million Britons fear being out of mobile phone contact, according to research. Keeping in touch with friends or family is the main reason why they are so wedded to their mobile. More than one in two said this is why they never switch it off. One in ten said they needed to be contactable at all times because of their jobs, while 9 per cent said that having their phone switched off made them anxious.

Experts say nomophobia could affect up to 53 per cent of mobile phone users, with 48 per cent of women and 58 per cent of men questioned admitting to experiencing feelings of anxiety when they run out of battery or credit, lose their phone or have no network coverage. The Post Office questioned more than 2,100 mobile phone users. Stewart Fox-Mills, the company’s telecom expert, said: “Nomophobia is all too real for many people.

I experience the opposite effect, let’s call it cellophobia, (made-up word). I get stressed when my phone rings, it comes from years of being in some form of tech support. It’s surprises me however, that more men reported this than women. Can’t someone please invent a drug for this?

  1. Improbus says:

    I have the opposite affliction … I wish my cell phone would die so I wouldn’t have to answer it. Did I mention that I am on call 24×7?

  2. rbreyes says:

    I get stressed when I misplace my mobile because I’m afraid that some jerk will find it and place calls to all his relatives in Lower Slobovia, and I’d get stuck with the bill. Otherwise, I’d say good riddance.

  3. OvenMaster says:

    Jeez, how on earth did these people survive before cellphones were invented?

    Are people that stuck on themselves and their own self-importance that they feel they just HAVE to make themselves available to their army of “friends”?

    Seriously, who the hell “needs” to be in touch 24/7 unless you’re a doctor?

    Someone wants to talk to me and I’m not home or at work, leave me a message on my answering machine and I’ll get back to ya when I’m damn good and ready.

  4. Froggmann says:

    The exact opposite happens to me. I feel happy when I have an excuse to not have it. The GF on the ohter hand freaks out when she can’t reach me 24/7. Maybe that’s what makes me happy?

  5. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #1 – I wish my cell phone would die so I wouldn’t have to answer it.

    Why do you think you “have to” answer it.

    I look at caller ID and decide if I want to talk or not. If not, off to voicemail with that call…

  6. Momdoc says:

    These kinds of things are fun. We all love neologisms. There are a couple of little things, though.
    1) The root nomo-, as in nomogram, is usually taken to mean normal I hope we never get to the point – but hey, maybe we have – where nomophobia becomes the norm.
    2) Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary describes noma as “noma (no´mә) gangrenous processes of the mouth or genitalia. In the mouth (cancrum oris, gangrenous stomatitis), it begins as a small gingival ulcer and results in gangrenous necrosis of surrounding facial tissues. The condition on the genitalia is called erosive balanitis in males and erosive vulvitis in females.” So NOMAPHOBIA is a healthy reaction to the fear of a really terrible disease (the parts mentioned literally get eaten away!

  7. Hmeyers says:

    Cellphones are a blessing and a curse.

    I keep mine OFF at all times except when I need to make a call.

    My cellphone voicemail message is “Hi, this is , I only use my cell phone for emergency purposes (<–slight lie) so please call my home phone instead.”

    This discourages the “having a leash” effect of cell phones.


    /Oh yeah, follow Dvorak’s advice and get a pre-paid cellphone!!!! He was right on the money! Pay $30-$50 every 2 or 3 months to recharge it and no contracts … awesome@!@!

  8. MikeN says:

    I thought it was a fear of Japanese pitcher, the opposite of nomomania?

  9. MotaMan says:

    Wouldn’t you expect your pot dealer to be a 24/7 operation?

  10. Uncle Ben says:

    OvenMaster #3 Seriously, who the hell “needs” to be in touch 24/7 unless you’re a doctor?

    According to my clients, I do. Don’t get me wrong, I agree entirely with you and frankly, I don’t ‘people cannot access my webpage’ is really something that people should be able interrupt my dinner over, but it works like this: I am available for people pretty much all the time to make websites and keep servers and that type of things running, they pay me for it. If I am not available all the time, or am hard to get in touch with, they pay someone else to do it. It is not great, but that is the way a free market works.

    I think some days about how nice it’d be to have a soviet-era job where I can work 10 – noon then 3 to 6 four days a week doing nothing, but then I think: I would not have my fancy computer and internet connection so couldn’t wouldn’t be able to read Dvorak’s blog. And that wouldn’t be any good would it :-D.

  11. hhopper says:

    If a cell phone affects you adversely in any way, there are most likely problems in your life. I find a cell phone to be nothing but a handy tool. I don’t let it control me.

  12. BubbaRay says:

    #11, Hop, right! My phone has a clock I can read, and works good as a placeholder in a hardback book.

  13. pjcamp says:

    There is a drug for this. It’s called Macallan.

    On the rocks.

  14. OvenMaster says:

    #10: Fair enough! 🙂 Many websites do indeed need to be up and running 24/7! My apologies.

  15. PeterR says:

    There is a strange phenomenon with cell phones, I find. I can sit working all morning without getting a single call on either the cell phone or the landline. But the moment I go out to the supermarket or bar or wherever, I start getting calls, usually when I’m driving. There’s a €600 fine here if they catch you phoning while driving so the calls get ignored (and no, I can’t be bothered to rig up a hands-free system in the car).

  16. ciara says:

    i hate it too it rings too often, i may not take calls even when i am free, its my life after all. Sadly i still suffer from the fear of loosing it. Last christmas left it in a cab back home – imagine. A friend suggested me a couple of solutions like nokia pc suite & zyb backup. Is is not normal worrying about it if so i need a DRUG too.


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