The cell-checking zombie apocalypse is upon us already …
We all know that asshole who won't stop looking at his phone, but we're not obsessed, right? We don't need our phone. We can quit whenever we want. But studies show that's probably a lie.
New research from Baylor University suggests that our cell phones could be damaging romantic relationships and leading to depression. The reason? Phubbing (also known as partner phone snubbing): "the extent to which an individual uses or is distracted by his/her cell phone while in the company of his/her relationship partner."
There's another word scientists made up to describe the more obsessed among us — nomophobe: someone afraid of being without their phone. Tragic.
And you're probably a nomophobe, considering 90 of the 92 percent of U.S. adults who own a cell phone say it's constantly with them, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center. Forty-five percent of cell phone users say they rarely turn them off, and 89 percent report using their phones during the most recent social gathering they attended. Man, that's a lot.
Take the quiz executed by the eggheads at Baylor. Respond to the following statements on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). Tally your score as you go, then check the chart below to find out how bad you gotta have your digital crack.
1. I would feel uncomfortable without constant access to information through my smartphone.
2. I would be annoyed if I could not look information up on my smartphone when I wanted to do so.
3. Being unable to get the news (e.g., happenings, weather, etc.) on my smartphone would make me nervous.
4. I would be annoyed if I could not use my smartphone and/or its capabilities when I wanted to do so.
5. Running out of battery in my smartphone would scare me.
6. If I were to run out of credits or hit my monthly data limit, I would panic.
7. If I did not have a data signal or could not connect to Wi-Fi, then I would constantly check to see if I had a signal or could find a Wi-Fi network.
8. If I could not use my smartphone, I would be afraid of getting stranded somewhere.
9. If I could not check my smartphone for a while, I would feel a desire to check it.
If I did not have my smartphone with me:
1. I would feel anxious because I could not instantly communicate with my family and/or friends.
2. I would be worried because my family and/or friends could not reach me.
3. I would feel nervous because I would not be able to receive text messages and calls.
4. I would be anxious because I could not keep in touch with my family and/or friends.
5. I would be nervous because I could not know if someone had tried to get a hold of me.
6. I would feel anxious because my constant connection to my family and friends would be broken.
7. I would be nervous because I would be disconnected from my online identity.
8. I would be uncomfortable because I could not stay up-to-date with social media and online networks.
9. I would feel awkward because I could not check my notifications for updates from my connections and online networks.
10. I would feel anxious because I could not check my email messages.
11. I would feel weird because I would not know what to do.
Sum up your responses to each item (higher scores indicate more severe levels of nomophobia). Refer to the following to determine your nomophobia level, or NMP-Q Score:
20 or less: Absent
21 to less than 60: Mild
60 to less than 100: Moderate
100 to 140: Severe
Remember when phones were things that hung on the wall, and everyone would get excited when it rang? Damn, those were the good ol' days.