Nomophobia: Plaguing Mobile-Obsessed Consumers Everywhere

Morningside Recovery Center, based in Newport Beach, CA, is now treating people for Nomophobia – the fear of being without mobile technology.

No joke.

Nomophobia is a documented fear – we mean it – of people who feel anxious and nervous without their phones. Morningside Recovery has declared itself as the first center to offer a group to deal with this new affliction, and has done so due to customer demand. A press release issued by the company says that studies show two-thirds of the population suffering from Nomophobia (no-mobile-phone-phobia.) We can’t make this stuff up.

As new mobile devices and technology continue to be introduced, Nomophobia is increasing, and up 13 percent from a couple of years ago, Morningside claims.

Sure, all of us can related to the need we have to connect everywhere, anywhere, always, and many of you probably have your mobile phone sitting right next to you on your desk…right now. But apparently for some people, this desire to stay connected has become more like an obsession, which morphs into a fear and anxiety that plagues them when or if they lose their mobile phone, run out of battery, have no network coverage or simply imagine life without their phones.

Dr. Elizabeth Waterman, Psy.D, an addiction and recovery expert at Morningside Recovery, treats a variety of addict patients every day and says she’s seen an increase in “Nomophobe” patients.

So what do we digital marketers do with this information? For one, we can be sure that the mobile-phone craze isn’t dying down and only increasing. Clearly we hope that consumers can forge healthy relationships with their mobile phones as opposed to unhealthy, obsessive ones that only lead to psychological decline.

Not that digital retailers’ target customer is someone who falls into the Nomophobia category, but hey, something to be said for mobile marketing in an age where people are constantly, obsessively attached to their devices…