September 19, 2012, 9:32 AM —
This may not be news to you, but I just recently learned about nomophobia. Apparently it’s a real phobia that has nothing to do with this guy (that was my first thought). No, it turns out that it stands for NO MObile phone phobia, the fear of losing or being out of contact with your mobile phone.
Did your heart skip a beat when you read that? Then you may suffer from it. Seek professional help immediately.
Seriously, though, there is some empirical evidence that this is a real problem. A recent survey of 1,000 people in the UK found that 66% of them feared losing or being without their mobile devices. Now, I’m no Dr. Bob Hartley, or even (despite the name) Dr. Phil, so I’m not sure if a mild fear of not having a mobile phone can be diagnosed as a real phobia. All the same, I don’t doubt that there are some people who take their attachments to their phones to the extreme and might suffer from a real affliction. In any case, the results of the survey are interesting and telling about how attached we are to our mobile devices.
No comment, of course, on whether I may suffer from nomophobia. But even if I did, my iPhone was once stolen right out of my hand, causing quite a bit of psychological scarring, so I have an excuse.
It got me to thinking, though, about how recent innovations in technology may be leading to this and other types of new phobias that Dr. Freud could never have imagined. I’m just thinking out loud here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the following phobias are now affecting other people (not just me):
Loremophobia - The fear of LOsing the REMOte. OK, not a new phobia, but still technology related. I’ve had many a moment of high panic when I sit down to watch some football or the latest episode of Honey Boo Boo and the TV/cable remote is completely AWOL. Usually, it’s because the kids just kicked it way under the couch (or stuck it in the freezer) but, nonetheless, when it doesn’t turn up quickly I break into a cold sweat.