Can't put your phone down? You may be a nomophobe

Washington, Aug 27: Are you a nomophobe? Researchers can tell! US researchers have developed a questionnaire that can determine if you suffer from nomophobia or a fear of being without your mobile phone.

Caglar Yildirim, a PhD student in human computer interaction at the Iowa State University (ISU), and Ana-Paula Correia, an associate professor in ISU's School of Education, have identified four dimensions of this modern-day phobia.

Can't put your phone down? You may be a nomophobe.
In the study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, study participants were asked to respond to statements on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). Total scores were calculated by adding the responses to each item.

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The higher scores corresponded to greater nomophobia severity. The questionnaire includes statements such as: I would feel uncomfortable without constant access to information through my smartphone; I would be annoyed if I could not look information up on my smartphone when I wanted to do so; Being unable to get the news (eg, happenings, weather, etc) on my smartphone would make me nervous.

Other statements said I would be annoyed if I could not use my smartphone and/or its capabilities when I wanted to do so; Running out of battery in my smartphone would scare me; If I were to run out of credits or hit my monthly data limit, I would panic; and 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.

The study participants also answered these statements: If I could not use my smartphone, I would be afraid of getting stranded somewhere; and if I could not check my smartphone for a while, I would feel a desire to check it.

Another section of the questionnaire asked study participants how they would react if they did not have their smartphone with them.

They responded to the following statements: I would feel anxious because I could not instantly communicate with my family and/or friends; I would feel nervous because I would not be able to receive text messages and calls; I would be uncomfortable because I could not stay up-to-date with social media and online networks; and I would feel weird because I would not know what to do.

Other statements were: I would be anxious because I could not keep in touch with my family and/or friends; I would be nervous because I could not know if someone had tried to get a hold of me; and I would be nervous because I would be disconnected from my online identity.


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