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First world phobia dominates the era of technology


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A recent study has revealed that 66% of the UK population suffer from nomophobia, the official term used to describe the fear of being unreachable via mobile phone.

MobophobiaWhen the concept was first investigated in 2008, research showed that 53% of the population were afflicted by ‘no-mobile-phobia’, with numbers steadily increasing as the device has become increasingly essential to society.

This is supported by the new survey, sponsored by security software company SecurEnvoy, whose findings reveal a larger proportion of nomophobia sufferers amongst the younger age groups. Out of a survey of 1,000 participants, 77% of 18-24 year olds are subject to the condition, with the 25-34 age group following behind at 68%.

Additionally, 41% of those questioned were found to own at least two mobile phones in order to avoid losing contact. The tendency is more prevalent amongst the male population, of which 47% own more than one mobile, while 36% of women take such precautionary measures.

However, while the ratio of nomophobia sufferers leant towards men four years ago, the 2012 study has shown a shift towards the female population.

SecurEnvoy CTO and co-founder Andy Kemshall suggests: “I’d be inclined to draw the conclusion that, perhaps because more men have two phones, they’re less likely to misplace both and therefore be left phoneless. There is another study into mobile phone use that found people check their phones, on average, 34 times a day, so it wouldn’t take long for you to realise if you’d misplaced your device.”

The survey also uncovered a further source of anxiety rooted in the mobile phone, as 49% of participants admitted that they would be upset if their other halves read their messages without permission. Reflective of this, 46% use no security protection on their mobile phones, 41% use the common four-digit pin code, while 10% use further measures to encrypt their information.

Kemshall notes that the survey predominantly demonstrates “the extent that people now rely on their mobile phones.” In the era of technology, this is a dependency that shows no signs of abating.

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