Does the thought of not being able to check Facebook or Instagram send a shiver down your spine? Then you might be suffering from FOND: the latest affliction to strike the mobile generation.
- Half of the UK would feel stressed and anxious without mobile data
- 10 million Brits* would find running out of data more stressful than an argument with their partner
- 1 in 5 polled would give up alcohol forever and almost 1 in 10 would never celebrate Christmas in exchange for unlimited data
- Nearly 2 million* would miss looking up an ex on social media if they ran out of data
- A third of Brits surveyed would spend their last £10 on data to avoid FOND
New research released today by mobile phone provider, Plusnet Mobile, has found that half of the UK respondents polled (50%) would feel stressed and anxious if they ran out of mobile data, with almost 1 in 5 (16%) finding the prospect more stressful than an argument with their partner.
The need to snap, chat, share and message from our phones is crucial for Brits, with at least 85% of those surveyed using mobile data on a daily basis. So much so that Fear of No Data (FOND) is pegged as the next social phenomenon to take hold of the mobile generation with the condition gripping Londoners (61%), those in the West Midlands (51%) and Scots (50%) the most.
The severity of FOND is directly related to how much we rely on mobile data to connect. The majority of Brits polled (71%) use mobile data every day for email, followed by catching up on messaging apps such as WhatsApp (47%) and checking or posting on Facebook (41%).
A regional breakdown reveals that Londoners are the most frequent users of Instagram (20.70%), the North East love finding a match on dating apps (5.93%), Yorkshire and the Humber are keen on Snapchat (16.51%) and the North West are the most addicted to playing Pokémon Go (9.40%).
Of course, there are some Brits who use their mobile phone data for more alternative means with 15% of respondents confessing to looking up an ex on social media, and both pub quiz cheating (14%) and skyping a pet (5%) making the list.
A life without Snapchat, selfies and status updates is too much for many Brits to bear. So much so that a third of those polled would spend our last £10 topping up our mobile data and using our last ‘bytes’ to search for the nearest WiFi signal to stay connected.
When asked what we would be willing to give up in exchange for a stress-free life of limitless data allowance, one in five Brits surveyed would stay off the booze for life (21%), a quarter (27%) would gladly do the dishes by hand and forgo a dishwasher and almost a tenth (9%) of the population would choose to give up Christmas.
Plusnet CEO Andy Baker said:
Our research shows how much Brits rely on their smartphone data to stay connected. From sending snaps and group WhatsApp messages, to streaming the latest TV shows or swiping on Tinder, access to data is a daily must. As the UK’s newest mobile provider, we’re supporting the battle against Fear of No Data (FOND) by offering fantastic data deals at great rates so the nation can no longer fear a data-less day.
To celebrate the launch, in a throwback to pre-mobile days, Plusnet Mobile sent carrier pigeons around London’s Southbank for those experiencing an early symptom of FOND.