Nomophobia — the fear you may not know you have

Reporter: Chris Cifatte
Published: Updated:

For most people, being without access to a working cellphone can create a feeling of anxiety — a fear known as nomophobia, or no more phone phobia.

Sean Barakett created an Instagram account called Naples_Fl with many pictures of Southwest Florida that he said quickly became popular. He also has a Twitter account with thousands of followers.

“Naples Problems … it was just a joke. People make fun of, send a picture of someone driving the wrong way on [U.S.] 41, which happens very frequently,” Barakett said.

Pictures, like those shared on Barakett’s social media account, are a reason people use their phones for several hours each day.

55 percent of men and 47 percent of women have a fear of not being connected, according to a British Study published in Psychology. A recent poll showed 70 percent of adults check their phones hourly, and 80 percent for teenagers.

“I’m the one who always yells at my husband, ‘You need to put the phone away, ’cause it is an addiction,'” resident Robbin Banks said.

For Barakett, using his phone is part of his daily activity that keeps him professionally and personally connected.

“It’s something I can use myself to market myself,” Barakett said.

One of five people said they would rather go without shoes for a week than without their phone, according to the study.

Doctors said symptoms like anxiety can occur when your phone gets low on battery and some phone users even feel their phone vibrate when it didn’t.

“My children, my grandchildren, they’re all walking around with their faces glued to their phone. They’re not even looking to see if there’s a car coming,” resident Gayle Messina said.

Doctors recommend teens should limit themselves to two hours a day, not including school work.

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