Unlike SoHo in New York City and SoMa in San Francisco, NoMo and FoMo aren’t popular urban neighborhoods. They’re being used to describe phobias related to widespread reliance on mobile and social media. NoMoPhobia is the fear of being without mobile devices and FoMo is fear of missing out.
A recent New York Times article focused on ‘internet use disorder,’ defined as those who are unable to disengage from online activity. While this hasn’t officially been classified yet as a mental condition, it’s being studied further.
In the meantime, media and tech companies have conducted their own studies and are using the results to coin unofficial terms for the public’s electronic addictions.
NoMoPhobia/Fear of being out of mobile contact. Being separated from one’s mobile device is a well chronicled domestic and international concern, as evidenced by different surveys conducted in the U.S. and the U.K.
In a recent T-Mobile survey, U.S. respondents were given the choice of going without mobile phones or other critical belongings. For many, mobile phones won out. Specifically, rather than being without their cell phones, 29 percent would rather be without cash and 25 percent would rather be without their credit cards. (These numbers will likely increase as more mobile apps enable financial transactions.) Interestingly, eleven percent would rather leave home without their pants than their mobile phones.