A survey showed 20 percent of people would rather go shoeless for a week than take a break from their cellphone. This statistic is one of many shown in a recent infographic, and makes evident an ever-increasing problem called nomophobia.
Nomophobia is the fear of being away from one’s phone, or not being able to communicate with others through a mobile device. A U.K. study began in 2008, and the first survey showed that 53 percent of people suffered from nomophobia, but in four years that percentage jumped to a 66 percent.
That percentage only increases with the younger demographic. Of those ages 18-24, 77 percent suffer from nomophobia, a number that has been steadily rising in recent years.
“Among today’s high school and college students, it’s on the rise. An increasing number of college students now shower with their cell phone. The average adolescent would rather lose a pinky-finger than a cell phone. A growing percentage text or tweet instead of actually talking to others,” Tim Elmore said in a recent article for Psychology Today.
In light of the new Apple iPhone 6 being released, it is interesting to note that iPhone users seem to have an even bigger problem than the average phone user. As mentioned above, one in five people would rather go shoeless than take a week off from their phone. With iPhone users, 43 percent said they would rather go shoeless, and 22 percent of other cellphone users said they would give up their toothbrush instead of their phone. For iPhone users, that number leaped to 40 percent.
As new devices are constantly being invented and introduced to the public, these figures make one wonder how quickly we should jump on the latest fads, or if we should instead take a break and use what we already have, and use it less.
Not only is this addiction or phobia hindering our social interactions, but as has been reported more frequently over the years, it is putting our safety at risk. Twenty-six percent of all car accidents are caused by cellphone use, and it was reported in 2012 that 1,150 pedestrians were sent to the emergency room for injuries related to using their cellphone and walking.
As problems of intercommunication, safety and self-control are becoming more prominent, it is past due for everyone to look at their phone habits and see if changes need to be made in their lives.