SAN FRANCISCO — It’s well-known that smartphone, or more broadly, digital addiction can result in many negative mental effects on people over time. Recent research even found it creates a brain imbalance in teens. Now a new study finds that over-attachment to your phone can cause serious social problems — boosting feelings of loneliness and isolation — while worsening anxiety and depression symptoms.
Smartphones have become useful, everyday tools that essentially manage our daily lives. From calendars to calorie monitors to sleep aids, smartphone owners find themselves constantly glancing at their screens from the minute they wake up to the seconds before hitting the sack. Whether it’s reading push notifications, responding to dings and vibrations, or constantly refreshing one’s Facebook newsfeed on the go, the need for phone time is becoming a more serious problem.
Researchers behind the study, conducted at San Francisco State University, liken smartphone addiction to opioid dependency, arguing that overuse of a mobile device is no different from substance abuse.
If you feel like your smartphone is taking over your life, Peper suggests turning off push notifications, limiting email and social media use to certain times of the day, and setting aside time to take on tasks without any use of your digital devices.
The full study was published in the journal NeuroRegulation.
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