Watch CBS News

My Name Is Mo R., And I Am A Nomophobe

Our Mo Rocca has discovered yet another phobia ...

A lot of fears are perfectly rational:

Harpaxophobia: the fear of being robbed.

Kynophobia: fear of rabies.

Lutraphobia: the fear of otters (well, some not so rational).

Now there's nomophobia, the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. British researchers estimate that 53% of the public are nomophobes.

More than one in two Nomophobes never switch off their cell phones. Victims are so dependent on their cells that even a low battery creates anxiety.

But cell phones went mainstream only ten years ago. We got along pretty well before then. So this new fear is not much more rational than Bolshephobia, the fear of Bolsheviks.

Rational or not, it's real.

I have a confession to make: My name is Mo and I'm a nomophobe.

My wireless handheld is threatening to overtake my wallet as the thing I just can't bear to lose. I'm constantly patting myself down to make sure it hasn't left me. When your plane touches down, I'm part of that symphony you hear.

Sometimes I even take it to bed with me. It's like I'm sleeping with a firefly. Is that pathetic?

Staying connected with friends and family is the number one reason users cite for their cell phone fixation (in other words, monophobia = fear of being alone).

And therein lies the genius of the minds behind this technology: Cell phones and wireless handhelds helped drive us apart in the first place: Dinner dates talking to other people on their phones … Tech junkie parents sneaking away from school plays to check on business … Would-be lovers texting as they pass each other on the street, like ships in the night.

Cell phones created the problem. Cell phones are the answer.

BEEP!!! Answer! Gotta answer! Sorry, I have to end this commentary.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.