For illustrative purposes Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: If mobile phone addiction wasn’t already one of the top concerns of living in the modern world, the word of 2018 will drive home the point.

Cambridge Dictionary voted ‘nomophobia’ as the word of the year after a worldwide poll. Other contenders were ‘gender gap’ - “a difference between the way men and women are treated in society, or between what men and women do and achieve”; ‘ecocide’ - “destruction of the natural environment of an area, or very great damage to it” and ‘no-platforming’ - “the practice of refusing someone an opportunity to make their ideas or beliefs known publicly, because you think these beliefs are dangerous or unacceptable”.

In a post explaining the coinage of nomophobia on its blog, Cambridge Dictionary said that it was a blend of the words ‘no mobile phone phobia.’

“Your choice, nomophobia, tells us that people around the world probably experience this type of anxiety enough that you recognized it needed a name,” the post read.

Other contenders for the crown were ‘gender gap’ - “a difference between the way men and women are treated in society, or between what men and women do and achieve”; ‘ecocide’ - “destruction of the natural environment of an area, or very great damage to it” and ‘no-platforming’ - “the practice of refusing someone an opportunity to make their ideas or beliefs known publicly, because you think these beliefs are dangerous or unacceptable”.

Even though Cambridge Dictionary admitted that 'nomophobia' was not a scientific word, since the fear was not necessarily a true phobia, many social media users were not satisfied with the coinage.

Facebook user, Owen Hall, wrote: “’Nomos’ means ‘law’. Nomophobia should therefore mean ‘fear of law or laws’.”

Another Facebook user, Iosif Hamlatzis wrote: “The word sounds Greek. From ‘nomos’ and ‘phobia’, which translates into fear of law, since ‘nomos’ is the Greek word for law.

Other social media users shared their own fear of not having a mobile phone.

Facebook user, Susan Lester, wrote: “Can’t live without my phone. I like having everything in the palm of my hand. Definitely have this phobia now.”

Tweep @AdventurerPh commented: “Apparently, this fear is pervasive enough that people had to invent a name for it.”

Twitter user @GuildfordErgo suggested: “May be 2019 is a good year to cut back on phone reliance - New Year resolution anyone!?”

Every year, dictionaries add words and their meanings in new editions, often considering the issues that affected people across the world.

For example, last year, when many youth-driven movements affected the politics in several countries, Oxford Dictionary selected ‘youthquake’ as word of the year, which it defined as ‘a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people’.