Do you get extremely anxious when your smartphone tells you you’re getting low on battery life? You just may have ‘nomophobia.’ Have you heard of it? I’ve never heard of nomophobia before, but according to an article by Emma Grey Ellis published in Wired, it’s a real condition for some electronic device users or users of anything powered electronically like owning a Tesla!
There is a difference though between range anxiety and nomophobia. Range anxiety happens to people who drive electric powered vehicles (EV) who are in constant fear of running out of electrical juice and constantly worried about the mileage range they have left.
But having panic attacks when running out of battery juice for a cellphone causes what is becoming known as nomophobia. Lessing the anxiety is only as far as the nearest charger. And users with nomophobia have been know to do strange things when their smartphones are on the verge of dying.
The major trigger for this anxiety or nomophobia is the fear of being without the use of a smartphone and they hit the panic button because they are addicted to their social media networks or game videos and believe they just can’t exist without them.
A study was done by Şengül Uysal, a student at Erciyes University who did research among college students there and she discovered that the fear of losing the use of their smartphones has deep roots. Uysal discovered that the greater demonstration of social anxiety exhibited by a student the more likely his or her fear for the loss of use of a smartphone would be. She found that it was because they extremely relied on their smartphones to maintain their personal relationships.
Use of smartphones cuts people off from physical, in-person social interactions and without their electronic device it increases a persons anxiety of loneliness. Students felt cutoff from everything from meeting times, family photos even food deliveries without the use of their smartphone devices and hence the fear of their batteries dying, cutting them off from everything.
Consequently, her study found that people do strange things when their cellphone batteries run out of electrical juice, from swiping their neighbors charger, or from co-workers desks, or even demanding the use of chargers from total strangers, even businesses, acting thoughtlessly.
The smart solution of course is to always have a charger on hand if you can. So many places provide free chargers today though that suffering from nomophobia shouldn’t be a problem. Really!