Recognise that little illustration above?
Are you the person who buries your head in your smartphone the moment you leave the office and are you consumed with dread and helplessness when your phone dies?
If so, researchers believe you may suffer from “no-mobile-phone phobia” known as nomophobia.
The fear of being without a mobile device or beyond mobile phone contact is on the rise and now a new study, that is to be published in the August edition of journal Computers in Human Behavior, identifies 20 questions that are designed to help you measure your level of nomophobia.
Social psychologists Caglar Yildirim and Ana-Paula Correia at Iowa State University started by interviewing nine undergraduates who were identified as being heavily dependent on their smartphones.
From these discussions, the couple noticed four key themes surrounding phone-related anxieties: the fear of not being able to communicate, losing 'connectedness', not being able to access information and the loss of convenience of a smartphone.
Using these as pointers, the psychologists compiled the Nomophobia Questionnaire (NMP-Q) as way for smartphone users to identify the extent of their phone addiction.
Take the Nomophobia Questionnaire
Write the numbers 1-20 down the side of a sheet of paper. Answer each of the questions using the scale below. Jot down your answers and add them up.
1 if you strongly disagree
2 if you disagree
3 if you disagree a little
4 if you're in between
5 if you agree a little
6 if you agree
7 if you 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...
10. I would feel anxious because I could not instantly communicate with my family and/or friends.
11. I would be worried because my family and/or friends could not reach me.
12. I would feel nervous because I would not be able to receive text messages and calls.
13. I would be anxious because I could not keep in touch with my family and/or friends.
14. I would be nervous because I could not know if someone had tried to get a hold of me.
15. I would feel anxious because my constant connection to my family and friends would be broken.
16. I would be nervous because I would be disconnected from my online identity.
17. I would be uncomfortable because I could not stay up-to-date with social media and online networks.
18. I would feel awkward because I could not check my notifications for updates from my connections and online networks.
19. I would feel anxious because I could not check my email messages.
20. I would feel weird because I would not know what to do.
If you scored...
20 - under 60 you have a mild level of nomophobia
60 - under 100 you have a moderate level of nomophobia
100 or more you have a severe nomophobia.