back to article Two thirds of Brits crippled by mobile phone loss terror

Nomophobia is on the rise in the UK, with 66 per cent of the population suffering from a fear of being without their mobile phones. The condition, which takes its name from an abbreviation of "no-mobile-phone phobia", refers to the anxiety felt when batteries die or blowers go missing. The number of sufferers has risen from …


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  1. M Gale

    Yougov polled -163 people?

    Doesn't surprise me.

    1. Arrrggghh-otron

      They obviously didn't poll many techies whose owners, I mean employers, think they have a right to phone them 24/7 without recompense, on any contact number they have on record... (including emergency next of kin contact details).

      I get a wonderful sense of calm when my phone dies and I just can't bring myself to put it on charge.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yougov polled 1000+1163 people...

      I read it as this survey polled 1000, 1163 LESS than YouGov.

  2. Oor Nonny-Muss

    And it will only get worse...

    ... as your NFC-enabled "wallet" is on there, the payment thing that was big in the news the other day... not only a several hundred quid device to lose but the contents of your bank account too.


    1. Pete 2

      Re: Going up!

      Wot 'ee said!

      (must learn to type faster)

  3. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    The only thing I fear is my Missus giving me an earful if I don't have the bloody thing with me, else I could quite happily be without mine!

  4. Pete 2

    Going ..... up!

    And with the increase in utility - especially financial utility, what with Barclay's recently announced foray into mobile monkey and the possibility of NFC becoming useful, the level of insecurity and dependency can only rise.

    Just like it's common sense to have more than 1 housekey or credit/debit card (and not to keep them all in the same wallet/purse) , surely the trend of concentrating too many functions onto one not-very-secure and easily nickable piece of shiny plastic can't be a good move. Eggs and baskets comes to mind.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't worry, there's a cure

    Don't worry, there's a cure.

    Get a girlfriend of a certain age, and give her your mobile number.

    Wait until you hit 10 texts a day about nothing, interrupting your flow state at work, meetings, nights out with the lads, or even early nights. When the average text contains more "lol"s and "x"s than words, you're ready.

    Lose your phone now. It'll be a severe fucking relief.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't worry, there's a cure

      Caution - this "cure" can be worse than the disease.

      There was a time when I dreaded the inevitable incoming porno texts, not to mention MMS, not only because people at work might pick up my phone but also because I had no idea how to respond to that kind of thing.

      Getting back to your own range is a blessing.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You can only pitty them, or maye section them to protect the public!

  7. Khaptain Silver badge

    Mobile Phone or Smart Phone

    I think it is very important to make the difference between "mobile phone" and "smart phone".

    Personally I really don't care about losing access to calls but I really don't want to lose access to the web or the annexed services.

    In other words it's OK for me to lose my phone but not my tablet.

  8. dotdavid


    The guy in the photo clearly has a mobile phone, which he's apparently not very happy about. So presumably he suffers from the opposite of Nomophobia - maybe Hasmophobia?

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: Photo

      Maybe his battery just died?

  9. The BigYin

    The two step programme

    1) Install Prey

    2) Relax.

    Hope I'm allowed this link (I'm just a user of their freebie service, no other connection etc etc).

    Forgetting a phone is a PITA, but unless you are a doctor on call (or similar) it's not a big issue, so just relax and enjoy a peaceful life for the next few houra.

  10. xyz

    If I have to get out of the way of one more...

    ...iTwat trying to walk, whilst keeping socially abreast and with in ear headphones on, I'll ram the damn thing up their a*** and they won't have to worry about losing it anymore.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    First thing to do... Don't hand out your phone number to people, companies, services etc...

    That way you won't get to attached to being always on call.

    Second thing to do... Stop charging it all the time. Forget about it. Keep it LOCKED with a pin and so on, have it in a zipperd up pouch, inside of the backpack/manbag/purse/etc... Make it harder to access. Completly forget it. Especially forget about it come friday afternoon and only remember it sunday evening when you're already in bed ready to go to sleep(you'll need to charge it).

    Third thing... enjoy your carefree existance once more

  12. Big O

    "we won't judge the scientific accuracy here."

    A good idea I reckon!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have pratophobia, an irrational fear of people who invent imaginary medical conditions, by taking the name of something that scares them and sticking -ophobia on the end. There are an infinite number of things that a person could be scared by, and that does not justify adding an infinite number of new "medical conditions" to the dictionary.

    As with most phobias, anybody who actually "suffers" from this, needs to grow up a bit and stop being such a f***ing princess.

    1. John Diffenthal


      Unfortunately, pratophobia won't protect you from nomophobia since they obviously made it up from no (meaning absence of) mo (a contraction for mobile) and phobia (the suffix for fear of). But I like your cure, which sounds absolutely correct.

  14. Archibald Trumpetbeetle

    I rarely post on the reg

    out of fear of chronic Votedownaphobia

  15. Ru

    The linguistic abuse, it burns

    No-mo-phobia? Seriously?

    I wonder if forced instruction in classical languages might be considered a cruel and unusual punishment. It would certainly be appropriate in this case.

  16. Weirdy one

    No worries here, only have one for work. It goes off at 5 PM Friday, on again Monday morning.

    I sleep very soundly.

    Also I have no friends.

  17. Graham Marsden


    Surely that should be no-mobe-o-phobia...

  18. jake Silver badge

    Other side of the coin ...

    About a month and a half ago, the wife & I were heading to Solvang to pick up eight horses for a new client. As we were leaving, I couldn't find my cell phone (Nokia 5185). I couldn't even remember seeing it for a week or so. Even dialing it's number didn't help. I shrugged, figured I'd find it eventually[1], and besides the Wife has a cell (same model), should we need one.

    We were on the road for two nights, returned with no incidents. Four days later, when changing the dog bedding, I found it buried in the back of one of the puppy crates. Seems she thought it might be a good chew toy. I swapped out the case for a spare (I have a half dozen or parts phones, bought at thrift stores for about 25 cents apiece). Charged it up, and it works fine.

    So probably 2 weeks, plus or minus, without my cell phone. Never lost a beat. Why not? Because I do all of my business with landlines (including computer stuff, DSL and dial-up mostly, I almost never use wireless). The cell is for emergencies only.

    Call me a neo-luddite, if you must ... Personally, as an early adopter of cellular technology (DynaTAC, in the mid eighties), it's more that the novelty has worn off, and I'm tired of being at everybody's beck and call. Cast off your electronic leashes, everyone! You'll be a lot happier, trust me :-)

    [1] It spent a couple days in the smokehouse once at about 185F. It still smells vaguely of salmon, Wild Boar and white oak & Manzanita smoke ... Probably why the pup thought it was edible ;-)

  19. Jim Keir

    Opportunity Missed

    Hmm. Should be "nomobophobia", surely?

  20. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    @Arrrggghh-otron, sounds like your employer is a prat. You HAVE to be assertive, and point out you will either be paid on-call pay or a quite fat salary to compensate for wokring for them 168 hours a week... or you are not on call. It's really as simple as that. I came to an understanding with a boss that tried to do that to me... I still got a handful of calls a year (usually 5 or 10 minutes after I left, because nobody with the alarm code had remembered to arm the buliding alarm..) which was no problem at all, but I made it clear I was not working 168 hours a week and so couldn't expect calls 24/7 on any regular basis.

    @jake, you don't sound like a neo-luddite, you just sound like a luddite. Landlines? Please, it's not the 20th century. heh.

    Not to sound too "out there", but I see cell phones tying into Kurzweil's views on a "technological singularity", he postulated people enhacning themselves EITHER through 1) Direct medical/genetic manipulation. 2) Implants. 3) External enhancements. Cell phones are essentially #3 depending on how they are used, I've seen people text or IM and talk AT THE SAME TIME, at that point the texting/IM'ing is almost like a technological replacement for telepathy with your friends. When these people get cut off, they are almost like a Borg when it's cut off from the collective... they really do miss that constant contact. For a lot of people who AREN'T so Borg-like, losing the cell phone would be like (20 years ago) losing the landline and the Rolodex at the same time... I have my contacts on my cell phone AND it's my only voice contact number. I also have my E-Mail go right to the phone, but since it's GMail I "can" read it on a computer if I need to.

    1. sam bo
      Thumb Down

      "I've seen people text or IM and talk AT THE SAME TIME, at that point the texting/IM'ing is almost like a technological replacement for telepathy with your friends."

      have you actually looked at the crap these cyborgs text. "gr8 lol" very intellectually challenging !

      Yep. telepathy alright - communication between 2 mindless morons.

      I'll gladly join Jake in the 20th century , if it means escape from these mobile twats.

      I think he was right with the neo-luddite thing...the real luddites were just a tiny bit earlier than the 20th century.

  21. RyokuMas Silver badge

    Understandable, really...

    These days, we are expected to be available and on tap immediately, 24-7, to keep up with the demands of business. If you're out of work (especially in the tech industry), no mobile is tantamount to "no new job".

    Like the car, the mobile phone is something that we're all now expected to have and considered anything from "stuck in the past" to "unprofessional" for not having these things that all cost money to operate...

  22. FunkyEric

    Work has a lot to answer for really......

    I've only ever had a mobe for work purposes. At my last employers I made them buy me one, as it was them that wanted me to have one. Oh and I got to choose the phone too ;-) Whilst they can be useful in emergencies, there is very little in our lives which couldn't wait just a few minutes / hours to be communicated. Personally I love the sense of freedom I get on the occasions I forget to pick up my mobe. Don't think this makes me a luddite, I just like a little peace and calm every now and then. Oh and it winds the ex-wife up when she can't contact me for some reason. hehehehehehehehehehehehehe!

    Escape - obviously.....

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