According to a 2013 study by Pew Research Center, cell phone ownership by adults has reached 91%. Another study, by YouGov, asked cell phone owners about their phone usage and found that a staggering estimated 54% of users experienced Nomophobia – the fear of being out of mobile contact. Examples of Nomophobic tendencies include:
- Feeling nervous about being out of contact with family and friends
- Feeling anxiety when you don’t consistently check your email and messages
- Feeling agitated when without 24/7 access to your cellular device
- Being unable to focus on a task or subject when receiving messages or alerts
With the state of our current culture of distracted drivers, this creates a new worry for driver safety advocates. Adults are increasingly admitting to texting or checking emails while driving, and young drivers have shown dangerous distracted driving habits with recent trends like #drivingselfie. Nomophobia could increase the time that drivers spend driving distracted by their cell phones, and cause driving agitation in those unable to use their devices.
So how can you prevent yourself and others from becoming Nomophobic? Set times in the day where you will go cell-free, for example, meals and family time. Ask others to join in your commitment to creating cell-free areas where you can cut the cord and ‘recharge’ on life.