You Can Now Measure Your Level of Smartphone Codependence

A man uses his smartphone as he crosses a street during a winter storm in New York on March 5, 2015. An airplane skidded of the runway Thursday at New York's La Guardia airport and hit a fence, officials said, as heavy snow fell in the city. Forecasters had warned of low visibility as a major storm hits the region. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Forgetting your phone at home promises a confusing and disorganized day is ahead of you, and the discomfort you feel when this accidentally happens is becoming a scientifically recognized source of separation anxiety, termed nomophobia. (That’s “no mobile phone” phobia, get it?) Now a pair of social psychologists at Iowa State University have put together a 20-item questionnaire designed to measure an individual’s self-reported level of nomophobia, a survey they hope will be used in further research on the subject. Their research will be published in an August edition of the journal Computers in Human Behavior. 

See for yourself how you’d answer, based on your own codependent relationship with your phone: 

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 …
10. I would feel anxious because I could not instantly communicate with my family and/or friends.

11. I would be worried because my family and/or friends could not reach me.

12. I would feel nervous because I would not be able to receive text messages and calls.

13. I would be anxious because I could not keep in touch with my family and/or friends.

14. I would be nervous because I could not know if someone had tried to get a hold of me.

15. I would feel anxious because my constant connection to my family and friends would be broken.

16. I would be nervous because I would be disconnected from my online identity.

17. I would be uncomfortable because I could not stay up-to-date with social media and online networks.

18. I would feel awkward because I could not check my notifications for updates from my connections and online networks.

19. I would feel anxious because I could not check my email messages.

20. I would feel weird because I would not know what to do.

Hat tip to Christian Jarrett over at the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest for spotting this one earlier. And as our friends at the Cut advised earlier this year, seriously, just never, ever leave your iPhone at home. 

Your Smartphone Codependence, Quantified