In The Distraction Addiction I talk about the concept of “nomophobia,” the fear of being without your cellphone (“No” “Mobile phone” “Phobia”) coined by British researchers in 2008. Recently, New York Magazine’s Melissa Dahl reported on a new Iowa State survey for measuring levels of nomophobia, a 20-question questionaire that asks questions like "I would feel uncomfortable without constant access to information through my smartphone” and "I would be annoyed if I could not look information up on my smartphone when I wanted to do so."
The source article, “Exploring the dimensions of nomophobia: Development and validation of a self-reported questionnaire," is forthcoming in the journal Computers in Human Behavior. Here’s the abstract:
Nomophobia is considered a modern age phobia introduced to our lives as a byproduct of the interaction between people and mobile information and communication technologies, especially smartphones. This study sought to contribute to the nomophobia research literature by identifying and describing the dimensions of nomophobia and developing a questionnaire to measure nomophobia. Consequently, this study adopted a two-phase, exploratory sequential mixed methods design. The first phase was a qualitative exploration of nomophobia through semi-structured interviews conducted with nine undergraduate students at a large Midwestern university in the U.S. As a result of the first phase, four dimensions of nomophobia were identified: not being able to communicate, losing connectedness, not being able to access information and giving up convenience. The qualitative findings from this initial exploration were then developed into a 20-item nomophobia questionnaire (NMP-Q). In the second phase, the NMP-Q was validated with a sample of 301 undergraduate students. Exploratory factor analysis revealed a four-factor structure for the NMP-Q, corresponding to the dimensions of nomophobia. The NMP-Q was shown to produce valid and reliable scores; and thus, can be used to assess the severity of nomophobia.