I have a bit of an anxiety problem. Really. It may even be some undiagnosed anxiety disorder, because I am literally afraid of anything and everything. I can’t talk on the phone. I can’t get in a car. I can’t even try new foods without hesitation. It’s possible that I am just a wimp, but as it turns out, some of these issues can be very legitimate. So legitimate, in fact, that they’ve been classified as phobias. While some phobias, like claustrophobia, have been around for ages, others are only just developing as a result of our modern-day conveniences. Some of them are so ingrained in our daily routines, we may not even know we have them. For example:
Nomophobia — fear of losing access to your mobile phone
If, on your way home from work, the top-left corner of your phone suddenly switches to “No Service,” and your heart immediately drops, you may have nomophobia. The U.K. Post Office coined the term after conducting a survey that revealed 54% of the British public feels panicked when they lose access to their phone. (This includes losing sight of your phone or running out of battery.) I mean, without our phones, we’d have no way of distracting ourselves during boring dinner parties.
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Deipnophobia — fear of dinner-party conversations
Speaking of dinner parties, if you end up phone-less at one of these events and find yourself searching for an exit, you might suffer from deipnophobia, or the fear of dinner conversation. I’m not talking about fear of spending time with your parents, because I think that’s just a natural part of human nature. I mean, if you sit down for dinner and immediately feel yourself getting jittery and nauseated, because you’re afraid someone is going to ask the dreaded “How was your day?” question.
Editiovultaphobia — fear of Facebook
I don’t like Facebook (by which I mean, I don’t like how I spend 90% of my free time scrolling through my newsfeed looking at vacation pictures of people I don’t really care about). However, I’m not afraid of Facebook, which is something that some people apparently can’t say. As much as I want to say that editiovultaphobic is a ridiculous fear, I can see why someone might not want to log in to a site that offers nothing but embarrassing party photos and cyber-drama.
Anuptaphobia — fear of staying single (forever)
I think I suffer from this phobia every time I see cats in a pet-shop window and imagine adding them to my future cat-lady kingdom. Anuptaphobia describes the fear of staying single, which is a very legitimate fear, especially if you live in a community that lacks opportunities for socializing, like an all-women's/all-men's college or math camp.
Retterophobia — fear of wrongly chosen letters
In an age where texting dominates our communication, retterophobia may be the most relevant phobia so far. The fear of a wrongly chosen letter may indicate why you reread a text to your mother 20 times just in case “I’m stopping at John’s for a sec,” turns into “I’m stopping at John’s for sex,” and sparks a very awkward conversation.
Papaphobia — fear of the Pope
That is all.
Mageirocophobia — fear of cooking
Gas stoves have a tendency to really freak me out. When I hold the stove knob for too long and the stove doesn’t spark, I automatically drop all cooking attempts and resort to cereal. The fear of cooking can lead to unhealthy eating habits and regular trips to nearby fast-food chains.
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Politicophobia – fear of politicians
Politicians are scary. They are charismatic, rich, manipulative, and as a result of all those qualities, they usually have a lot of power. If power gets put in the wrong hands, as it often does, the entire country can go spiraling out of control, which can have a negative effect on basically everyone. Politicophobia can also stem from the fear of being lied to or the fear of seeing old, rich men in suits. I made that part up, but I’m sure that’s part of it.
Macrophobia — fear of long waits
If it’s not instantaneous, it’s not worth it. That’s my motto.
In all seriousness though, phobias can be pretty terrifying, no matter how silly they might seem to other people. It is important to distinguish between a fear and a phobia, because they are not really the same thing. You may hate long waits or hate politicians, but unless the anxiety these experiences elicit interferes with your quality of life, they are not phobias. Losing your phone can be legitimately terrifying and can obstruct your ability to function as a human ("I will not go to the bathroom without my iPhone, thank you very much"), or it can just be annoying.