Newspapers are out! Mobile devices are in! Do you ever bring your mobile device into the toilet, washroom, bathroom, water closet, loo, latrine, restroom, lavatory, the john, your “office”, the “facility”, the crapper… whoa, I deviate!

(As an aside, Thomas Crapper did exist and was a plumber, but he did not invent the the flush toilet. That myth is busted.)

Nomophobia is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact (Nomobile-phone phobia). Over 50% of 2,000 people surveyed in a UK study admitted to having this phobia. I would call it more of an anxiety and not so much a phobia.

People now fear running out of battery power, losing reception, and losing sight of the phone. They obsessively check for missed calls, emails and text messages. They are even unable to go to the bathroom without taking their phone with them.

People check their phones on average 34 times a day and supposedly 75% of us use the phone in the bathroom.

Do you ever turn off your mobile device?

28 Comments
  1. I always have my phone on, I figure for the outrageous cost I’m paying for phone service I better be using it all the time! I’m also not a very casual texter, so if I need to receive or send something then it’s probably important, but I guess I do have nomophobia.

  2. has anyone ever wondered how people survived before mobile phone was invented? maybe that’s why “word of honor” is such a strong word in the history books, meet ups rely on trust and people were more patient, willing to wait. Just a thought.

  3. Oh dear, I have my mobile device in the bathroom right now, hahaha. I guess I suffer from this condition. I bring it out of sheer boredom though. I have no desire to stay connected to with anyone. Playing games and reading news is my main reason. It beats reading labels on the various products in the bathroom…

  4. I just don’t like being bored in the bathroom, especially if I know I’m gonna be im there a while. My phone keeps me entertained during the time.

  5. My phone is always with me so it’s always on. I guess I may be nomophobic. I can’t be away from my phone and the Internet. I constantly check for messages and Emails. I guess if the internet were to die out my Nomophobia would probably kick-in.

  6. I bring my phone to the bathroom just to kill time by reading, or playing something. If I don’t bring it I do not go crazy, I just get bored. It is true that now people check their phones constantly just to see if a new call or text came in, cellphones are becoming way too addictive.

  7. I also bring my phone and/or tablet when I go to the bathroom. But it’s not really out of fear of being out of contact. It’s actually more of boredom.

  8. The question is…What are you doing in the bathroom that takes so long that you expect to return to your phone to missed calls etc.?!

    • I think I have an idea but it’s too unhygienic for me to do. Phones can get disgusting as it is (fun fact: Phones can be dirtier than your toilet seat), I don’t wanna put more gross stuff on it by bringing it in the bathroom. There’s also the danger of accidentally dropping your phone somewhere you don’t want it to be.

  9. I do bring my phone to the bathroom but I am pretty sure that I do not have Nomophobia. Before mobile smart phones were invented, I brought books, video games and newspapers to the john. Now I still play games, read and surf while you know….. Lol.

  10. That is funny. Anxiety that is technology related is a real growing problem everywhere. Clinics open up so that people can let go. It is crazy really…
    The worst is text response time anxiety. Why has shehe not replied yet?

  11. I admit I do have fears about running out of battery power. I do wish the battery lasted longer between charges.

    Usually I take my mobile phone to the bathroom during business hours, particularly if I am expecting a call. Occasionally, at other times, too, especially if I am listening to something. I put it in a nice safe place as if it were a clock radio.

  12. Damn! Seems like I suffer from this, because I can’t stay away from my mobile even for a few minutes. It’s always inches away from me, no matter where I am, be it toilet or anywhere else!

    Whenever I run out of battery in my phone I just can’t wait to get it plugged in again and get it charging. In fact I keep sitting with it till it restarts so I can check my notifications.

  13. Well, I rarely take my phone to toilets and bathrooms nowadays. And that’s because I once mistakenly dropped my phone into the loo, you can’t imagine very messy. Hahaha

    However, I’m not a phone freak, the only reason I could get so married to a phone is when I’m doing something so important on it. Otherwise, I can even shut the damn thing off when I don’t want to be disturbed by IMs, phone calls and all attached with using a smartphone.

    • Ha-ha. I worry about this also. I’ve never had it happen but I bet it will one day. Gosh, that must be embarrassing. I seem to bring my mobile device into the bathroom out of fear that I’ll miss something important. It’s becoming a compulsive behavior that isn’t going to change any time soon.

  14. LOL! I was just like you. Back in the day, I do spend like two hours in the loo. Basically, just sitting on the toilet sit and reading news papers, Novels, playing games and or just about anything playable and readable. But, that was really an unhygienic way of living life.

  15. I realized that I do turn off my phone sometimes to conserve battery. However, I have another phone as reserve. I guess I do have nomophobia but smartphones’ battery life can be really short unlike older phones and I can’t always recharge when I need to.

  16. I have to admit that I am pretty guitly of this as well.the thing about it is that it’s not something I’m even concious of anymore. I mostly bring it in the bathroom just in case I get an important call or message. Along with that, I sometimes use my phone to read books or even play games for a short time.

  17. Lol, this one I don’t suffer from! 😀 The only cases I recall bringing the phone in the bathroom with me were when the lights were out. I just needed to use the torchlight and using my phone looked like the easiest solution.

  18. Haha I don’t have Nomophobia I just hate being bored in the bath room

  19. I actually do bring my mobile device to the bathroom. It is rather pathetic that I do it but now I know that there is a word for my condition. I don’t think I’ll ever stop using electronics in the bathroom. Too easy of a way to kill the time on the throne. Thank you for the funny article.

  20. No those kind of people you speak of are just the younger ages and not all of them. There are tons of people who only use their phones for calling or texting only when they need them. But yes this Nomophobia is a really widespread phenomenon but I hope people will soon grow tired of them or maybe with google glass coming out in 2014 things like mobile phones will not be needed anymore.

  21. I never knew there was an actual term but I do know quite a few people with these symptoms. It seems that like actual limbs we are not able to detach ourselves from our mobile ones either.

  22. I don’t think I suffer from nomophobia, but I do bring my phone into the bathroom. The only reason why, is because it’s so boring in the bathroom. I would take something to read while in the bathroom, like a magazine, but a phone is more convenient because you don’t run out of stuff to read. But one thing is in common, is that when I either use my phone or read a magazine in the bathroom, I always spend too much time.

  23. Very informative post David. Some people may not take it seriously but nomophobia is a real thing, and the fact that some deny its extisene means that they might have it themselves. I know a few people who have nomophobia and they are always on their phones, then they complain about poor battery life, which makes me laugh. There a few places where you shouldn’t use your phone: in bed, in the bathroom, talking to others.

  24. I don’t think that using your phone in the washroom is any kind of phobia, that just sounds like some word happy person’s definition of it to me. It might be an extension of something else, but classifying it just sounds odd.

  25. Heh, I know someone who likes to take the mobile to the bathroom when they know they’re going to be there very long, lol. Yuck! As for me, I feel more comfortable not taking mine to the bathroom, but I like to take it with me whenever I go out.

    I got my phone two years ago as a gift, but now I can’t imagine my life without it. I feel so silly to admit this, but yes, the phone has become a very important part of my life… I mean, how boring it’d be to be waiting at the doctor’s office if i didn’t have this holy phone to keep me company!

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