Nomophobia: the irrational fear of being without your mobile phone or being unable to use your phone for some reason, such as the absence of a signal or running out of minutes or battery power.

OH NO Where's my phone?

I rushed out of my house the other day for an appointment 2 miles away. About halfway there I realized I’d forgotten my cellphone. OMG! If I went back for it, I’d be late, and the only thing worse than not having my phone is being late.

I did some quick troubleshooting.

What if I had an emergency? I wasn’t even going on the freeway, I reasoned; it would be easy to flag someone down. I’d be on city streets the whole way, no lonely stretches. I’d be passing the library, 2 churches, 3 schools, at least 4 gas stations, the homes of 5 friends, and a bakery where I often stopped for scones. I’d be okay.

What if my husband had an emergency and needed to call me? If it were something really bad, he should call 9-1-1 anyway. If he wanted tell me he needed bagels, well, he was out of luck.

How about an emergency deadline that might come through email? They could wait a couple of hours till I got home, couldn’t they? I’d tell them I was camping and out of range.

I drove on, phoneless. But it wasn’t easy. While I waited for my appointment, I wouldn’t have access to my email or my calendar or Facebook. I could miss a national crisis. Or a bit of juicy gossip.

I’d have felt more comfortable if I’d left my shoes at home, or even my wallet — I could always call and have them delivered! As long as I had my phone.

Without revealing my exact DOB, let me say I lived many years without a phone in my purse. In fact, for high school graduation, I got a hot-ticket item—a “portable” radio, which was about as big as a breadbox, with a battery much heavier than a loaf of bread.

But I’ve become a nomophobe.

I feel that I’m a polite nomophobe, however, never checking my phone or texting if I’m with a real, live person. Unless that person is checking, too.

Anyone else a nomophobe?


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3 Responses to “Nomophobia”

  1. Lynette K says:

    I don’t even carry my iPhone with me most of the time. I have a flip phone in the car if I need to make a call. Now, I have returned home if I realize I don’t have a book with me. I wonder if there is a word for that.

  2. Camille says:

    Good question, Lynette. I don’t know if there’s a word for leaving home without a book, because, whereas I have been without my phone, I’ve never been without a book! :)

  3. Ann Parker says:

    Nomophobe here, raising a hand in solidarity. I forget my iPhone and panic. It’s crazy! Like you, I’ve lived (umpty-ump = many) decades without it… how did I become so (ahem) addicted in the space of ten or so years??
    At least now I have a word I can use to explain my dependence. :-}