No Mo Nomophobia?

There may be some good news on the media addiction front, especially when it comes to the most addictive medium of all -- our mobile phones -- at least in terms of how we perceive the way we use them.

A new study finds that Americans believe they are checking their phones much less than they did a year ago -- 58% less.

Whether that has been their actual behavior isn't clear, but that's the finding of self-reported responses to a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults fielded by

And while it would be interesting to know if there has been some sort of actual behavioral change, at least people believe they are less addicted to the device in their hand, pocket, or on the table or desk in front of them.

I suspect it's just some kind of halo effect: Coming out of our pandemic-era need to remain connected through our devices, we are easing up. At least in terms of perceived angst.

Other findings from the study seem to support that perception.

For example, there was a small (-2.9%) decrease in so-called nomophobia, the feeling of uneasiness about leaving your phone at home or other places.

In a corresponding finding, respondents also reported a nearly 5% reduction about feeling panicked when their phone's battery drops below 20%.

And in perhaps the most encouraging finding of all, they said they're using or looking at their phones 14% less than they did a year ago. (Phew!)

I'm not sure what the media planning implications of these findings are. Still, at least one stat suggests thinking more about dayparting when targeting people on their mobile devices: There was a nearly 11% increase in the number of Americans who say they check their phones within 10 minutes of waking up.

But from a societal POV, the stats are encouraging. Though personally, I'll believe it when I see it -- even if it's on my hand-held device.

1 comment about "No Mo Nomophobia?".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, July 20, 2023 at 11:05 a.m.

    I've got a more straightforward explanation. Two weeks ago I got an Apple Watch, which I see others wearing more often than last year. Since then, I barely use my iPhone. It's somewhere nearby, maybe still on the charger, but I'm not carrying it except when I go somewhere. Bluetooth keeps me tethered to reminders, texts, and calls.  I've cut way back on checking my phone. I can do yard work without carrying it. Maybe I'll play games during commercials at night or watch a YouTube video. Am I any less tethered to the Internet? Probably. Would I report in a survey that I check my phone less? Definitely.

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