Last week, U.K.-based mobile security service provider SecurEnvoy reported that two thirds (66%) of people have nomophobia – a fear of losing or being without their mobile phone. It’s a real phobia; I found it on Wikipedia so it must be real. SecurEnvoy also cited a study by the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, which found that on average we check our phones about 34 times a day. That seemed like a big number, until I started counting how many times I checked my phone. When I got to eleven before the work day even started, I conceded that I’m probably a nomophobe. It was confirmed when I left my iPhone at home yesterday during a 45 minute trip to Target. I felt a little anxious and my fingers felt itchy, yearning to swipe a text message or email. Apparently I’m not alone.
It got me thinking about how this impacts IT support organizations that are now dealing with mobile devices. I assume the anxious feelings of leaving your phone at home are only intensified when it actually breaks. (I think this Portlandia “Dropping Your Phone” video says it all.)