Nomophobia is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. The term, an abbreviation for "no-mobile-phone phobia", was coined during a 2010 study by the UK Post Office who commissioned YouGov, a UK-based research organization to look at anxieties suffered by mobile phone users. The study found that nearly 53% of mobile phone users in Britain tend to be anxious when they "lose their mobile phone, run out of battery or credit, or have no network coverage". The study found that about 58% of men and 47% of women suffer from the phobia, and an additional 9% feel stressed when their mobile phones are off. The study sampled 2,163 people. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed cited keeping in touch with friends or family as the main reason that they got anxious when they could not use their mobile phones. The study compared stress levels induced by the average case of nomophobia to be on-par with those of "wedding day jitters" and trips to the dentists. Ten percent of those questioned said they needed to be contactable at all times because of work. It is, however, arguable that the word 'phobia' is misused and that in the majority of cases it is only a normal anxiety.
More than one in two nomophobes never switch off their mobile phones. The study and subsequent coverage of the phobia resulted in two editorial columns authored by those who minimize their mobile phone use or choose not to own one at all, treating the condition with light undertones of or outright disbelief and amusement.
Michael Quinion characterized the word as "dreadful faux-Greek" and observed that a more suitable sense of nomophobia – since Greeknomos means "law" – is "a neurotic fear of the law".
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- ^"SocialTechPop". Nomophobia vs Gnomophobia. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
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- ^Column: Nomophobia: "No more phobia". siude.com. March 4, 2008
- ^Michael Quinion. "Nomophobia". World Wide Words. Retrieved October 20, 2013.