The top 20 modern fears - including not being able to use your phone

Getting stuck in a lift, missing a flight and smashing your phone screen are the top modern-day fears, according to research.

A poll of 2,000 UK adults found sending a text to the wrong person, making a bad typo on an important email and sitting next to someone with a cold on the tube also feature in the top 20 list.

And one in five are now more scared of being ghosted on a dating app than the thought of real ghosts this Halloween.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

More than a quarter (27 per cent) often fear running out of mobile data and 42 per cent are scared of being without their phone in general - otherwise known as 'nomophobia'.

As many as 23 per cent would prefer to hold a tarantula and 14 per cent would rather swim with sharks than be without their phone for a whole week, according to research commissioned by Sky Mobile.

While people are still scared of heights (38 per cent), spiders (31 per cent) and roller coasters (24 per cent), two in 10 believe things in the list of modern fears are scarier than these traditional horrors.

More than half of the top 20 modern terrors are tech related, including using the wrong emoji, being tagged in an unflattering photo and being stuck somewhere with slow Wi-Fi.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And it would be a nightmare for 45 per cent to be without their phone for a day, as Brits spend an average of 14 hours using it per week.

Relying on it for things like staying in touch with friends and family, online banking, directions and reading the news are critical to many.

And three in 10 often carry around a charging cable just in case the battery runs out.

Around the same amount (29 per cent) believe their biggest fears have changed int he last five years, according to the figures.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Paul Sweeney for Sky Mobile, which offers 99 per cent network coverage and Piggybank data rollover each month, said: "We use our phones for everything from keeping on top of life admin to staying connected to our loved ones so it's not wonder that being left without data and losing phone signal can seem scary to Brits".

Sky Mobile is working with expert psychologist Linda Papadopoulos to offer advice for self-confessed nomophobes this Halloween.

Linda says: "It's no surprise to me that over half of the fears in the research are tech-related.

"These fears are a product of how much we rely on our tech and how for many of us it's key to not only our work but our social lives and identities.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The reason that we're less afraid of being bitten by sharks than losing our phones speaks to how entwined our phones have become with our day-to-day lives.

"We feel that so much of out lives are bound up with our technology, and we can't see a way forward without it.

"From connecting with friends to engaging with colleagues, from dealing with boredom to planning and creating, our phones are no longer just phones but, in a sense, digital prostheses, so it can seem terrifying to think of not having this tech out our fingertips."

Linda Papadopoulos' top tips for how to combat nomophobia

Get your tech right - ensure you're researching the right handset and network provider for you that will ensure its dependable, reliable and will work when you need it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Always keep your phone in the same place around the house or at the office - we're creatures of habit for a reason, because it alleviates stress to be on autopilot.

Preparation is key - Remember to back important so it can be retrieved from other devices and to keep your own data and information safe so you aren't at risk if you do lose your phone.

Try not to catastrophise! - Make sure you moderate your dependency by remembering important phone numbers, connecting with people and you surroundings in the real world and making a conscious effort to be without your phone at times throughout the day.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.