What is the scariest situation you can imagine? Being chased by a werewolf? How about being boiled alive in a witches brew? Or what about succumbing to a zombie hoard? For people that are nomophobic, these monster-filled situations would be preferred compared to their greatest fear; being without their cell phone!
Are You a Nomophobe?
Nomophobia, or the fear of being out of mobile phone contact, is real. People that suffer from nomophobia will experience anxiety whenever they lose their mobile device, run out of battery power, run out of minutes, or lack network coverage. A recent study revealed that 53% of mobile phone users experience some level of stress in a cell phone-less situation, and the average suffer of nomophobia will have stress levels on-par with wedding day jitters or trips to the dentist.
A typical nomophobe will always have their phone on their person. They will never power down their phone, and they may even avoid visiting areas that lack coverage. Are you a nomophobe? One symptom of nomophobia is the inability to carry on a conversation without checking the phone for updates. This makes it difficult for nomophobes to socially interact because they lack the ability to give someone 100% of their attention. Employees with nomophobia can negatively impact business because customers may mistake this lack of focus as poor customer service.
In most cases, the anxiety experienced from nomophobia is low enough that victims can function, but in extreme cases, not having a cell phone will make people so fearful that, in the event of a lost phone, they will put everything on hold and flip over every piece of furniture trying to find it. Knowing this, some nomophobes will always have a spare cell phone nearby, just in case something happens to their primary phone.
The Scary Cause of Nomophobia
What is the reason for nomobphobia? It can’t be because technology is bad, because all the features of a mobile device are designed to help people. Instead, we think the real reason for nomophobia is because of monsters. Think about it, in the most well-known and classic monster movies, the victims lack cell phone coverage.
Take the typical scenario of a group of students spending their holiday break together at a creepy cabin deep in the woods. One of the first lines you will hear is, “I can’t get cell phone coverage.” Why do directors feel the need to mention this at the beginning of every scary movie? Because it adds to the fear.
If the jock and the cheerleader each had a working cell phone, then they would have called the local authorities the first time they heard the scrape of a blade against their window. With a working cell phone, a call would have been made after the group stumbles across the body of their friend, thus preventing the senseless massacre of the entire group.
Therefore, whenever a sufferer of nomophobia shows fear and anxiety upon losing coverage, it’s not because they can’t view the latest status update on social media, but rather, they are scared that a murdering psychopath will appear out of nowhere rendering them helpless.
This Halloween, if you are looking for a great way to scare your coworkers, save the big effort of making an elaborate costume, and instead, just hide everybody’s cell phones. Trick or treat from Setton Consulting!