The security firm, ADT, recently studied web searches to determine what American’s biggest fears are for 2020. Now based on what has happened this year, you would expect it to be Covid.
However, an analysis revealed a slight twist. Overall, people’s biggest fear is not COVID, but rather their biggest phobia is “fear of people.” And the searches for this fear was five time higher than last year.
Since we are social animals, this fear of people can have negative consequences mentally and physically. RELATED: CDC Confirms: ‘Adverse’ Mental Health Problems ‘Increased Considerably’ During Lockdowns
But in three states, the biggest fear overall was the “fear of being alone,” with the number of overall searches for this type of fear tripling last year’s numbers.
But here is what is particularly odd, these two phobias are the polar opposite of each other, as one focussed on contact with people and the second feared no contact with people.
Fox News provides more details:
The most-Googled phobia of the year is fear of other people, according to researchers, who attribute the trend to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Anthropophobia” made up 22 percent of all fears searched nationwide in 2020 — five times the number last year, Psych News Daily reported.
Searches for the word peaked between April 19 and 25 as the coronavirus crisis raged, and many people were stuck in lockdown, according to the outlet, which cited a report by security firm ADT.
The survey also broke it down peoples’ phobias by state. In California their greatest phobia was a fear of social media or what other people thought of them.
Psych News Daily explains:
And in California, a hub for influencers, the leading fear people looked for online was the fear of social media. This new-sounding fear also implies its opposite, namely nomophobia, or the fear of having no mobile phone.
In high-achieving Massachusetts, the state with the highest percentage of college graduates, the most searched-for fear was the fear of failure.
The chart below provides the biggest fear by state: