You’ve probably felt some sort of frustration or even panic when you realise you accidentally left your phone behind.
What you’re feeling is separation anxiety, or “nomophobia,” which is specific to the anxiety driven by the absence of your mobile device. And yes, “nomo” stands for “no mobile.”
You might readily admit that you’re overly dependent on your smartphone, but psychologists at Iowa State University have devised a questionnaire to measure exactly the degree you experience nomophobia.
Research Digest revealed that the psychologists involved in the study identified four major themes when thinking about nomophobia.
The first is the “fear of not being able to communicate,” referring to the inability to contact others or be contacted via phone or text.
The second is anxiety over losing “connectedness,” which involves losing touch with notifications of social interaction from email or social networks.
The third theme is losing the ability to access information, like making a quick internet search on a whim to scratch a curiosity itch. Just imagine not being able to scratch that itch.
Fourth is the loss of the convenience we’ve come to expect with our smartphones, like checking directions on a maps app.
NYMag obtained the short questionnaire, so go ahead and see how often you would reply “yes” to each of the following questions:
1. I would feel uncomfortable without constant access to information through my smartphone.
2. I would be annoyed if I could not look information up on my smartphone when I wanted to do so.
3. Being unable to get the news (e.g., happenings, weather, etc.) on my smartphone would make me nervous.
4. I would be annoyed if I could not use my smartphone and/or its capabilities when I wanted to do so.
5. Running out of battery in my smartphone would scare me.
6. If I were to run out of credits or hit my monthly data limit, I would panic.
7. If I did not have a data signal or could not connect to Wi-Fi, then I would constantly check to see if I had a signal or could find a Wi-Fi network.
8. If I could not use my smartphone, I would be afraid of getting stranded somewhere.
9. If I could not check my smartphone for a while, I would feel a desire to check it.
If I did not have my smartphone with me …
10. I would feel anxious because I could not instantly communicate with my family and/or friends.
11. I would be worried because my family and/or friends could not reach me.
12. I would feel nervous because I would not be able to receive text messages and calls.
13. I would be anxious because I could not keep in touch with my family and/or friends.
14. I would be nervous because I could not know if someone had tried to get a hold of me.
15. I would feel anxious because my constant connection to my family and friends would be broken.
16. I would be nervous because I would be disconnected from my online identity.
17. I would be uncomfortable because I could not stay up-to-date with social media and online networks.
18. I would feel awkward because I could not check my notifications for updates from my connections and online networks.
19. I would feel anxious because I could not check my email messages.
20. I would feel weird because I would not know what to do.