Nomophobia – Fear of No Mobile Phone

What is Nomophobia? Nomophobia is a fear of ‘No Mobile Phone’

According to the latest figures some people can spend over three hours on their smartphones.  For anyone who has been on public transport and noticed nearly every passenger glued to their smartphone, this research is hardly surprising.  Call it dependency or a full-blown addiction, but how we’re (over) using smartphones is taking a serious psychological toll on some people.

Smartphones are addictive because they trigger the release of serotonin and dopamine the “feel good chemicals” in our brains providing instant gratification just like addictive substances do.  No doubt about it spending too much time checking emails or doing work on your phone drives up your stress levels and disrupts your sleep.

Do you have Nomophobia?

If you feel happier when you’re typing and swiping, or worried when it is not near you, use it for hours at a time, checking it at inappropriate times (while driving or in a meeting), miss work or social obligations because you’re lost in your digital world, or if important people in your life have complained about your phone use why not take the following test:

 Respond to the following statements, then calculate your total score to find out just how dependent you are on your phone you really are.

1 – strongly disagree   2 – strongly agree

  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.


Scoring Guide: 

  • 20: No nomophobia
  • 21-60: Mild nomophobia
  • 60-100: Moderate nomophobia
  • 101-140: Severe nomophobia


Symptoms of Nomophobia

Nomophobia occurs in situations when an individual experiences anxiety due to the fear of not having access to a mobile phone.

Anxiety can be caused by several things, such as the loss of a mobile phone, loss of reception or a dead mobile phone battery. Some clinical characteristics of nomophobia include using the device impulsively, as a protection from social communication, or as a transitional object. Observed behaviors include having one or more devices with access to internet, always carrying a charger, and experiencing feelings of anxiety when thinking about losing the mobile.


  • anxiety
  • respiratory alterations
  • trembling
  • perspiration
  • agitation
  • disorientation
  • tachycardia


Emotional symptoms

  • depression
  • panic
  • fear
  • dependence
  • rejection
  • low self-esteem
  • loneliness


While most people probably feel strongly about a few of the statements, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have nomophobia – there is a difference between simply using your smartphone a lot and having nomophobia.

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