by Chris Bate
There have been a lot of great technology advances over the last few decades but arguably non-more impactful on modern-day life than the smartphone, with it expected to be over 35% of the GLOBAL population owning one. Nowadays you can watch TV and films on your phone, shop from your mobile, manage your bills and finances and even video call people on the other side of the world…all at the touch of a screen. It’s no surprise that they are so popular and so many people are dependent on them!
A recent study by King’s College London shows that 23% of young people (42,000 used in the study) experienced addictive behaviours including; anxiety over denied access to their mobile and the inability to control the amount of time they spent on it. With mental health being such a prominent and constant topic in current society this addictive behaviour poses an even larger issue as it can be linked to problems such as stress, depression and lack of sleep.
Dr Nicola Kalk from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London confirmed that they are not sure if it’s the smartphone or the apps that cause addiction but called for the “need to understand the prevalence of problematic smartphone usage.”
Smartphone manufacturers are doing their best to support this over-dependency and usage by providing apps and settings which enable you to monitor and even limit the amount of time you spend on your phone, there are other products available such as ‘blue light blocking glasses’ which are believed to aid with sleep following staring at a screen all day.
On the flipside to all of this, there have been studies completed that show that smartphone effects aren’t all negative and that they can positively impact your mood because of reasons such as their ability to connect you with family and friends.
The jury is still out!