Smartphone addiction is no joke, and now there's a scientific way to measure it.
A new study from Iowa State University has identified some of the central aspects of nomophobia -- that's "no mobile phone" phobia -- with a handy new 20-question survey measuring iPhone codependence. Scroll down to take the quiz.
"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," Caglar Yildirim, one of the study's authors, told The Huffington Post in an email. "It refers to fear of not being able to use a smartphone ... [and] it refers to the fear of not being able to communicate, losing the connectedness that smartphones allow, not being able to access information through smartphones, and giving up the convenience that smartphones provide."
The research builds on a University of Missouri study published in January. which found that bring separated from your iPhone can have a real psychological and physiological effect, including impaired thinking.
"iPhones are capable of becoming an extension of our selves such that when separated, we experience a lessening of 'self' and a negative physiological state," Russell Clayton, a doctoral candidate and the study's lead author, said in a statement.
To develop the questionnaire, the Iowa researchers interviewed nine undergraduate students about their relationships with their smartphones, identifying four basic dimensions of nomophobia: not being able to communicate, losing connectedness, not being able to access information and giving up convenience. Then, they tested the questionnaire on 301 undergraduate students.
Are you a smartphone junkie? Rate each item on a scale of 1 ("completely disagree") to 7 ("strongly agree") and tally up your total score to find out. Be honest!
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.
How You Score:
20: Not at all nomophobic. You have a very healthy relationship with your device and have no problem being separated from it.
21-60: Mild nomophobia. You get a little antsy when you forget your phone at home for a day or get stuck somewhere without WiFi, but the anxiety isn't too overwhelming.
61-100: Moderate nomophobia. You're pretty attached to your device. You often check for updates while you're walking down the street or talking to a friend, and you often feel anxious when you're disconnected. Time for a digital detox?
101-120: Severe nomophobia. You can barely go for 60 seconds without checking your phone. It's the first thing you check in the morning and the last at night, and dominates most of your activities in-between. It might be time for a serious intervention.