A stranger chided me for looking at my phone while I was at dinner with my wife two weeks ago. It embarrassed me, but he was correct—here I was eating a nice meal with good company, and I was busy plotting the next point on our trip across New England. I put the phone away; however, I admit I was waiting for the stranger to leave so I could continue my research.
Maybe that means I suffer from nomophobia, the fear of being without your mobile phone.
Two Iowa State University researchers investigated this phobia and created a questionnaire to help you determine if you’re a nomophobe. Score yourself a one if you strongly disagree up to a seven if you strongly agree with the following statements. Higher scores equate to a greater nomophobia severity.
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:
1) I would feel anxious because I could not instantly communicate with my family and/or friends.
2) I would be worried because my family and/or friends could not reach me.
3) I would feel nervous because I would not be able to receive text messages and calls.
4) I would be anxious because I could not keep in touch with my family and/or friends.
5) I would be nervous because I could not know if someone had tried to get a hold of me.
6) I would feel anxious because my constant connection to my family and friends would be broken.
7) I would be nervous because I would be disconnected from my online identity.
8) I would be uncomfortable because I could not stay up-to-date with social media and online networks.
9) I would feel awkward because I could not check my notifications for updates from my connections and online networks.
10) I would feel anxious because I could not check my email messages.
11) I would feel weird because I would not know what to do.