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Why you freak out when you forget your phone?

Sweaty palms, short breaths, feeling uncomfortable. Do I have my phone on me?

Can not function properly without your phone? Or panic when you can not find it? I know this is slightly out of tech topic, but hey, you should know what is going on according to science when you can not find your phone. Science researchers says you are not alone. Well, that sounds somewhat good to me.

Researchers from University of Missouri sought to study the stressful situation. They found that being away from your phone can cause anxiety and make your feel worst on important task.

To find out what happens when people are away from their phones, the researchers put people to task of filling out a simple word search puzzle while hooked up to blood pressure bands. Researchers told participants that the experiment was to test new pressure cuffs so they would not expect it was really about their phones. While they puzzled away, the researches asked them to rate how they were feeling about anxiety or if they had any feeling of pleasantness or unpleasantness.

students in a test

After the first word puzzle was complete, researchers told the participants that their phones are interfering with the bluetooth radios of blood pressure monitoring system. They had to be moved to the other side of the room. Once separated from their phones, the participants started on a second puzzle and in the middle of the figuring out that puzzle. Researchers called on their phones and when it finished ringing they took readings of blood pressure.

Not surprisingly the participants reported feeling uncomfortable and anxious and their heart rate and blood pressure increased.  Not only did they feel worst but they did worst on the puzzle too.

So what does the researches conclude from this experiment? Phone anxiety is a very real thing and can lead to physiological anxiety and poor cognitive performance. They said that the phones have become such a huge part of our lives that now phones are the extension of our sense of self. And we feel a loss of ourself when we get separated from our phones. This seem to affect a lot of us. Some researchers call it NoMoPhobia or fear of being without your phone.

60% of responders to a recent survey could not go more than an hour of without checking their phone for new notifications. 73% of them panicked when they thought they have lost their phone. A study found out that most people would give up other comforts before their phones. 70% would rather give up Alcohol, 63% would rather go without chocolate and 33% would rather not have sex for a week than go without their phones for a week. Another study found out that 11% of Americans would rather leave their home without pants than their phone. Now it is getting a lot weird. I would rather say to please put your pants on and put your phone in their pocket or in your purse if you carry one.

If you want to stay focused in a meeting or do great in an exam, keep your phone on you so you do not get anxious. Turn it to vibrate or silent so you won’t have any distractions.

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