10 signs you might have nomophobia (and what to do about it)

We live in a connected world. That can be a very good thing. But it also means it's sweaty-palms time when you're out of touch with your friends and family thanks to lack of phone credit, signal or battery charge. That sense of dread is known as 'nomophobia' – a fear of losing mobile phone contact. 

How do you know if you're affected? Here are 10 signs that you might have nomophobia, plus some suggestions for overcoming it... 


1 - The little stress vein on your forehead twitches if a message tone goes off and it's not yours

A wise man once said that checking your phone after someone else checks theirs is the yawn of our generation. If your friend is checking their phone, use yours to snap a selfie. Then you can use it to win £100 credit and an iPhone 6. 

2 - You left your phone at home and now your brain is basically doing backflips inside your skull

You check your pockets over and over. You empty your bag onto a pigeon. Still no phone, and your teeth are chattering. That's nomophobia alright. Avoid the stress with a pre-departure check: got phone, got charge, got credit. The pigeons will thank you. 


3 - You're picking up good vibrations

Many of us have felt phantom phone vibrations: it's a sign that you're used to being in regular contact with people. But whether you're getting real notifications or phantom ones, you can stay in the loop with credit top ups from the nearest cash machine. You ain't afraid of no ghost.

4 - The words 'no signal' bring on bouts of temporary insanity

When you're contorting out of a train window, one arm wrapped in foil to boost the signal and sobbing “just one bar, please, I need my Spotify,” over and over again, things are looking bleak. Plan ahead by taking your top tracks offline to keep the music playing.

Bed phone

5 - You wake up and read Twitter like people used to read the morning paper

Have to check Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram before you can seize the day? Actually, there’s no need to overcome this: more and more news stories are breaking on social media so you might just learn more than you would on BBC Breakfast. 

6 - You don't remember the last time you heard a complete...

Constantly having to ask people to repeat sentences because you were distracted by social media? If your mobile life is drowning out the real world, it might be time to ask yourself whether you’re a man or a mouse. Of the clickable variety, of course. 


7 - If you didn’t Instagram it, you start to wonder if it even happened

Picture the scene: Glastonbury 2016. You’ve managed to sneak into VIP and you realise you’re standing next to Jake Gyllenhaal… But it’s already day three so your phone’s died. Suddenly the whole exercise seems futile. #nofilter 

8 - You're not sure where June went because you spent it down the YouTube clickhole

It's easily done: one cat video leads to a howling abyss prowled by Korean dog disco mashups and that screen that just says 'Badgers'. But if you're spending too much time there, remember this: when you stare into the abyss, the abyss also stares into you. Yeesh.


9 - You're standing onstage at a Broadway show trying to plug your phone INTO THE SET

Is this you? Charge up before you charge out, people! It avoids embarrassing breaches of theatre etiquette. 

10 - Run out of credit? You’d rather run out of food… or oxygen

You were meeting everyone at 10 but now it’s nearly half past and they’re nowhere to be seen. You’re out of credit so you’re not only bored - you’re stranded. Hopefully there’s a cash machine nearby so you can top up because you’re not sure how much longer you can take scrolling through the same old Instagrams as you try to project an aura of WhatsApp-inundated popularity…

Even better, plan ahead and win £100 credit now and wave goodbye to no-mo FOMO for weeks.