A survey has revealed that 20 per cent of cellular phone users in Britain consider being out of mobile phone contact to be as stressful as moving house or breaking up with a partner.
The study conducted by YouGov revealed that 53 per cent of the UK's 45 million mobile-phone users become anxious if their phone runs out of battery or credit, if they lose their handset, or when the network is low.
Stewart Fox-Mills, the head of telephony at the Post Office that commissioned the survey, said "nomo-phobia", the team used for fear of being out of mobile phone contact, was a real phenomenon for many people.
"We're all familiar with the stressful situations of everyday life such as moving house, break-ups and organising a family Christmas, but it seems being out of mobile contact may be the 21st century's contribution to our already manic lives. Being phoneless and panicked is a symptom of our 24/7 culture," the Independent quoted him as saying.
The study revealed that men were more likely than women to be nomo-phobic.
While 48 per cent of women admitted to feelings of anxiety when they were separated from their cell phone, 58 per cent of the men surveyed reported the same.
Over 20 per cent of the 2,163 people questioned said they never switched off their mobiles, and 10 per cent said that their job required them to be contactable at all times.
Around 55 per cent said that they used their mobile phones to keep in touch with their friends or family.
Nine per cent of the participants said that having their phone switched off made them anxious.