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Nomophobia on the rise: do you fear being without your mobile phone?

If someone told you that your mobile phone was going to be locked in a safe for a week, preventing you from looking at it, caressing it, even using it, what would be your reaction? Beads of sweat on the brow? Quivering upper lip? A two-year-old-like tantrum?

According to new research by OnePoll on behalf of UK firm SecurEnvoy, the fear of being separated from one’s phone, a condition known as nomophobia, is on the rise. A survey of 1,000 Brits revealed that 66 percent feared being without their mobile phone, marking a 13 percent increase on the results of a similar survey taken four years ago.

Interestingly, to make absolutely sure they were connected at all times, 41 percent of people in the survey said they carry a second mobile phone with them — in case they lost their primary device.

A closer look at the results of the survey shows that 70 percent of women would feel anxious if they were apart from their mobile phone, compared with 61 percent of men. However, the survey revealed that it was men who were more likely to carry two phones with them, which probably makes them less anxious about losing one of them, as they’d still be connected.

The data showed that it was members of the younger generation that were most likely to break out in a cold sweat if they became separated from their mobile phone, with 77 percent of those aged between 18 and 24 saying they would be worried about being apart from their handset. This figure makes sense, as this is the age group that has grown up with such devices. It also shows that unless we find a way to ease our dependency on mobile phones, nomophobia will probably continue to rise.

How do you feel if you misplace your phone or it stops working? Do you get grouchy? Moody perhaps? Or does it actually give you a chance to engage in some alternative pursuits that you’d all but forgotten existed?

To find out if you’re hopelessly addicted to your mobile device, check out our Top 10 Signs of Cell Phone Addiction page here.

[Image: Tom Wang / Shutterstock]