04 June 2014
Even if nomophobia is a word you are unfamiliar with, you may well recognise some of the symptoms of this newly recognised and ever-spreading irrational fear. In fact, such is the prevalence of this recently identified problem that over half of us have admitted to experiencing it. And what are the primary symptoms of nomophobia? The fear of losing mobile signal, running out of battery or losing sight of your phone.
How Did It Start?
Critics are divided over what has caused this rise in reliance on mobile handsets. For some, it is the usability and accessibility of today’s mobile devices that makes being unconnected unusual and thus impossible to cope with. Many see handsets as an extension of ourselves, with personalised phone cases and wallpapers proudly displaying our nearest and dearest. Whereas others point to the younger generation as possessing weakened skills in social interaction that have allowed smartphones to creep in and become the predominant tool of communication. Whatever the reason, it is clear that our phones are becoming irresistible. In fact, recent research has shown that 25% of us would regularly check messages when on a date whilst three-quarters of us regularly take our phones on toilet trips. Too much information perhaps, but with mobile technology fast becoming a constant part of our lives, business leaders have been swift to consider how nomophobia can benefit them. In the past, ideas such as being listed in the telephone directory were considered to be the pinnacle of extensive customer reach, but today all that has changed. Even a sleek and sophisticated website will not do: companies need to make sure that the site is available to view on mobile devices; apps are a must to optimise the customer experience; and, of course, a presence across all social media platforms cannot be ignored.
The Power of Social Media
Of all these social media platforms, Facebook has already proven itself a powerhouse in brand recognition, with its ‘Like’ capabilities the epitome of good will. Hot on its heels, promoted tweets on Twitter are fast becoming the marketing tool of choice for many businesses and services. Just look at Coca-Cola — with more than 35 million fans on Facebook, social media has simply cemented the brand’s role as a global marketing leader. But Coca-Cola is perhaps an unfair example of how businesses can harness the power of nomophobia. After all, their brand recognition was well established prior to the coining of the term in 2010. Yet simple phone-based solutions such as direct emails to customers, delivery-driver estimates by text and focused marketing via social media are all available to small businesses, creating something of a level playing field. Analysts are clear that our phone usage is set to increase and not diminish, and with interconnected lifestyles becoming the norm, our mobiles look set to stay. There has never been a better way for companies to track customer behaviour, and in such a competitive market place the power of nomophobia cannot be ignored.
For other smartphone news or other forms of entertainment to take nomophobia out of the picture, or if you're looking for some more random facts, llook around our blog!
Rahima Aktar on Wednesday, June 04, 2014 · Leave a Comment