Remember when you had to use a payphone if you wanted to ring your mum while up the town (finding a payphone that actually worked was the challenge)? Remember when to enter a radio competition you had to write a letter (and rewrite the entire letter when you made a mistake!), take it to the post office, get a stamp, post it, and hope it got there before the closing date? And remember way back when “Google” was something you heard a baby say, and “Yahoo!” was from a cowboy film, if you had to do research for a school project, you had to go to the library and physically search the shelves to find huge book, something that ‘might’ be useful, only to go through half of it and realise it wasn’t really relevant at all? (Click here for more examples of Life Before Technology)
All of these arduous tasks have been rendering obsolete with the evolution of mobile phones into small computers in our pocket. You can FaceTime your aunt in Australia, have access to all the encyclopaedias in the world, and have 24/7 contact with your colleague at work to get that important project sorted before the deadline. But how much is too much?
According to recent studies sponsored by SecurEnvoy, ‘Nomophobia’ and ‘Ringxiety’ are increasing at a dramatic rate in the UK.
Nomophobia - a word coined from the phrase ‘no mobile phobia’. It refers to the feeling of distress that people feel when they are not in mobile contact with others due to their credit running out, battery dying, or losing network, etc.
Ringxiety - Also known as Phantom Ringing, this refers to imagining that you can hear your phone ringing when it is not. Scientists believe it, (together with Crackberry - the compulsion to check your Blackberry phone extremely often) is a form of OCD which we will be seeing more of in coming years.
According to OnePoll who carried out the study on 1000 employed people:
- 41% of all those surveyed had at least two phones (47% of the men, and 36% of the women surveyed)
- Almost 50% said they would be upset if their partner checked messages/calls on their phone
- 61% of men surveyed worried about losing their phones, and 70% of the women
- 77% of those aged 18-24 and 68% of those aged 25-34 years old were deemed to be ‘nomophobic’
Comparisons With Previous Research
- In a similar studied carried out in 2008, 53% of those who participated suffered from nomophobia. This has since risen to 66% of those who took part in the 2012 study.
- In 2008, men were found to be more likely to be nomophobic, whereas today, it is more likely to be women.
So we are becoming more and more obsessed with our mobile phones. What do you think? And are we all sufferers of some form of technological mental disorder?