Do you constantly check your cell phone for e-mail alerts, news updates, and the weather? If so, you could be one of the 66 percent of people who suffer from "no mobile phone phobia" — nomophobia — the fear of being without a cell or mobile phone, says SecurEnvoy, a UK-based Internet security and mobile technology firm who conducted the survey. Living in a revolutionizing digital age where everything is fast, instant and, most importantly, on-the-go, people are disengaged from having one-on-one face interactions. While Apple applications like FaceTime, and the program Skype help reinforce personal connections, the unhealthy usage of cell phone devices continues to escalate. According to the Morningside Recovery Rehabilitation Center, the average American spends 144 minutes a day using their phone. For those who suffer from nomopohbia, the fear of being disconnected from the virtual world is heightened when they are restrained from checking their phone. The lives of cell phone addicts are so contingent on their need to feel socially connected on their phones that without mobile technology, they begin to express a sense of vulnerability that can trigger certain moods and behaviors.
"Cellphones are addictive in the same way slot machines are," said Dr. Fran Walfish, child, couple, and family psychotherapist and author in Beverly Hills, Calif., to Medical Daily. "The immediacy of response, gratification, and excitation combine to make the user want more and want more now." This type of addictive behavior can be explained in a situation where a person is dining by themselves. Despite no sounds or alerts coming from the cellphone, addicts will take out their phones from their pocket and start to press buttons or scan their phones with their fingers for a sense of safety and security. While back-and-forth communication through text or e-mail is seen as a threat to replacing nose-to-nose contact, it is when you are alone with your mobile device that heightens this addictive behavior. The inability to sit by yourself in a public setting without reaching for your phone can be a means to cope with loneliness but it can also be detrimental to your mental health.