Top 20 modern day fears – including being without your mobile phone, study finds

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.

Nearly three in ten (27 percent) often fear running out of mobile data, and 42 percent are scared of being without their phone in general – otherwise known as “nomophobia”.

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

And while people are still scared of heights (38 percent), spiders (31 percent), and roller coasters (24 percent), a fifth 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.

And it would be a nightmare for 45 percent 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, is critical to many – and three in ten often carry around a charging cable, just in case the battery runs out.

Around the same amount (29 percent) believe their biggest fears have changed in the last five years, according to the figures.

Paul Sweeney, for Sky Mobile, which offers 99 percent 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 no 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 said: “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.

“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 our 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 at our fingertips.”

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