Do you feel anxious if your cellphone isn't nearby?
Does just the thought of losing your phone make your heart pound?
Do you keep an extra phone on hand, just in case your primary phone breaks?
Do you sometimes take it to bed with you?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you may be a nomophobe, and you are not alone. Nomophobia- the fear of being without your cellphone- is on the rise according to a study sponsored by SecurEnvoy according to a LA Times article from February 17, 2012. People aged 18-24 tend to be the most nomophobic (77%), followed by people aged 25-34 (68%). The third most nomophobic group is 55 and older.
According to our psychology book "... People acquire phobias by means of classical conditioning" (Lilienfeld, pg. 22). Once an individual has a phobia they start to avoid their feared stimulus as much as possible. Ironically they are operantly conditioning themselves to make their fears more likely to occur.
The concept of operantly conditioning oneself to fear the phobia even more tends to make sense but how much does society play a role? This phobia would have not existed 100 years... there were no cell phones. What prompts this phobia to start? Is it possible that the media and society can cause this extra, not needed stress? And more importantly can we use information like this to stop these so called "random" phobias. I believe that society itself has a larger impact on us then we can imagine and psychologists can use this to analyze behavior and help find "cures" for things such as nomophobia.