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Three in four Brits fear being without mobile phones

By David Lloyd

Three-quarters of Brits are suffering from ‘nomophobia’ - a fear of being without their mobile phone, according to new research.

A study found that 73 per cent of the 40 million smartphone users in the UK become anxious when they don’t have access to their device.

The results suggest five million Brits are having their sleep disrupted by their phone and 2.5 million say the gadgets are interrupting their housework.

And an estimated 700,000 are having their sex lives limited by their attachment to their phones.

Thomas Stewart, chartered psychologist with the British Psychological Society said the phenomenon will “only get worse” as we become more reliant on the technology.

“Calling it a phobia is a bit over dramatic,” he said. “But the truth is today phones have invaluable technology which we need on a day-to-day basis.

“Not having access to Facebook so you can’t see someone’s pointless post is one thing but not being able to access emails, look at your bank account, book flights or hotels on the fly - that can be cause of concern.”

The poll of 2,000 people by the insurance firm www.Row.co.uk found the average Briton uses their phone for two hours and 54 minutes a day.

However, this pales in comparison to the average 18 to 24-year-old - who racks up a huge six hours 17 minutes a day.

Facebook took up the most time, with an average of 23 minutes a day on the social media platform, followed by 17 and a half minutes spent texting, 17 minutes listening to music and 13 minutes making calls.

People are so addicted to their mobile one in ten admitted to checking their social media while at the cinema.

More worryingly almost 10 per cent of those surveyed admitted to using their phone while driving.

When asked what their phones limit them from doing, 12.8 per cent said sleeping, six per cent said housework and 1.75 per cent said sex.

Mr Stewart added: “The reality is that most of us now rely on information technology in one way or another, our phones are personalised by us and we feel very comfortable with them.

“Of course some people take things to the extreme, whether that be watching TV or running ultra marathons but for most phones are not nefarious.

“Our phones are now just one of the essential accouterments to modern life.”

Some 44 per cent of respondents said they would be worse off without their smartphone with 15 per cent saying they couldn’t live without it.

Despite being so reliant on their devices, a third of those surveyed admitted they never back up their data and two thirds don’t have their phone insured.

Mr Stewart said: “I’m very relaxed about the growing necessity of this technology, it is not malevolent or evil, it’s fantastic, we love what this technology allows us to do and if we didn’t have it we would miss it.”

People said they were most anxious when they left their phone at home or the battery dies and they were unable to use it.

Limited signal was next on the list followed by when someone else is using their phone and when they run out of data.


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