Afraid of Losing Your Mobile Phone? You May Have Nomophobia!

The “Bleeding Edge” Blog.

There are not a lot of perks associated with being a magazine writer. Sure, we get to interview an occasional celebrity, but those esteemed persons remember us mostly as a nuisance – if they remember us at all.

We get to go to conferences at exotic places like Las Vegas, but frankly after a few years, hotel rooms and conferences start to look the same. As for the pay, I could make more money making French fries at McDonalds.

Mostly what we get as magazine writers are news releases. Tons and tons of news releases.

From eager PR staffers who buy distribution lists with little or no regard for what we write about, pitching stories that would bore our readers to death, often so badly written that it is hard to decipher what the news release is really about. But every now and then…

Every now and then we get a real gem of a story. One that, even if we can’t use it for the magazine, is worthy of comment. Best example:

A leading drug and alcohol recovery center, Morningside Recovery Center has founded the first ever recovery group to deal with customer demand - “Nomophobia” – the fear of being without mobile technology. Studies show that two-thirds of the population suffers from “Nomophobia” (“no-mobile-phone-phobia”) which is defined as the fear of losing or being without your mobile phone. As new mobile devices and technology hit the market, Nomophobia is increasing, and up 13% from a couple of years ago.

We use cell phones every day, but for a growing number of people staying connected has become an obsession that occupies every waking minute – and for them, an utter fear and anxiety runs through their veins when they lose their cell, run out of battery, have no network coverage, or simply imagine living life without a mobile device.

Top Addiction and Recovery expert, Dr. Elizabeth Waterman, Psy.D treats a variety of addict patients every day and has seen a deep increase in her “Nomophobe” patients. She can discuss the warning signs and best treatment/recovery options out there for people addicted to their beloved technology needs.”

I happen to be just about the only writer for accounting magazines who also trained as a marriage and family counselor, so I will admit that this has my attention. Enquiring minds want to know all kinds of things about this new phobia. Do 2/3 of the population actually suffer from this? Has it really gone up 13 percent in just a couple of years? And who is measuring this new phobia?

I’m inclined to be sympathetic to people who suffer from this phobia, simply because I know how crazed I get when my computer goes down. Were I to lose both my computer and my cell phone at the same time, I would indeed be a basket case. So the news release is intriguing on two levels. First, I find the phobia to be credible.

Second, I am wondering how many people reading this will ‘fess up and admit they probably suffer from it as well?

Anyway, it is a lot more interesting than many of the news releases that cross my desk.