Being an English major, and a general word geek, I always like discovering a new word. My new word for this week is "Nomophobia."
What is nomophobia? Basically, the fear of not having your cell phone. Short for "no-mobile-phone phobia" (although some argue it is more an anxiety than a true phobia).
Whether you have a weak signal, are out of range, a low battery or just plain left it at home. Any of those things could trigger a raging bout of nomophobia.
According to Wikipedia, the term "was coined during a 2008 study by the UK Post Office who commissioned YouGov, a UK-based research organization evaluating 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, sampled 2,163 people, 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. 55% 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 also equated the stress of doing without a mobile phone and a trip to the dentist.
Personally, I think anyone who has used a cell phone for any length of time has experienced some degree of nomophobia at one time or another. If you suddenly remember you left your cell phone at home, you'll drive 10 miles to go back and get it. How many times a day do you reach for your pocket or purse to make sure it's still there? Keys, driver's license, cell phone -- all things you keep on your person at all times.
And considering how the cost of smartphones continues to climb (now at $1,000 for the new iPhone X), it just makes the stress that much greater.
Just thinking about that makes my own nomophobia kick in.
Yes, I know it's spelled like "Jerry." No, I don't know why it's pronounced "Gary."