Smartphone Dependency in Youngsters
Smartphone Dependency in Youngsters – Is your kid addicted to the smartphone? If yes, it will put him or her at a higher risk of depression and loneliness, warns new study. Here what the study explained about the relation between smartphone use and mental issues in young adults. Also, know some tips to reduce smartphone addiction.
Smartphones have become a major part of many lives. Most people spend their maximum hours on mobile phones. Not just adults, youngsters are equally or more addicted mobile phones and have made it a compulsory part of their routine. Most youngsters are addicted to their mobile phones and are completely dependent on them for various purposes. There are many harmful effects of using mobile phones for long. Many health issues are linked with the use of mobile phones for long especially young adults. A new study has found that young people who are hooked on to their smartphones may be at an increased risk of depression and loneliness.
Smartphone Dependency Puts Youngsters At A Higher Risk Of Depression
A growing body of research has identified a link between smartphone dependency and symptoms of depression and loneliness.
In a study of 346 participants, ages 18-20, researcher Matthew Lapierre and his collaborators from the University of Arizona found that smartphone dependency predicts higher reports of depressive symptoms and loneliness, rather than the other way around.
“The main takeaway is that smartphone dependency directly predicts later depressive symptoms. There’s an issue where people are entirely too reliant on the device, in terms of feeling anxious if they don’t have it accessible, and they’re using it to the detriment of their day-to-day life,” said Lapierre, assistant professor in the department of communication.
Understanding the direction of the relationship between smartphone dependency and poor psychological outcomes is critical for knowing how best to address the problem, said Pengfei Zhao who co-authored the study.
“If depression and loneliness lead to smartphone dependency, we could reduce dependency by adjusting people’s mental health. But if smartphone dependency (precedes depression and loneliness), which is what we found, we can reduce smartphone dependency to maintain or improve wellbeing.” Zhao said.
The researchers measured smartphone dependency by asking study participants to use a four-point scale to rate a series of statements, such as “I panic when I cannot use my smartphone.” The study focused on older adolescents, a population researchers say is important because they largely grew up with smartphones and they are at an age and transitional stage in life where they are vulnerable to poor mental health outcomes, such as depression.
When people feel stressed, they should use other healthy approaches to cope, like talking to a close friend to get support or doing some exercises or meditation, the researchers suggested.
How to reduce smartphone dependency on youngsters?
Reduce cell phone use before bedtime
Most young adults spend their maximum time using smartphones before going to bed. This can also lead to sleep deprivation. While going to bed keep all distractions away and keep the smartphones away.
Involve yourself in some physical exercise
Physical movement is very necessary for kids, youngsters as well as adults. The more time you will spend on other activities the less will be your interest in using mobile phones. You will feel relaxed and it will also enhance your sleeping pattern.
Interact with people face to face
Social media sites might be a great way to meet people and interact with them. But talking to a person’s face to face can help you develop a better understanding. Meet your friends or spend time with your family and friends. This will help you stay offline.
Turn off the notification
You might have a habit of checking your phone every time you get a notification. So to get rid of the addiction, keep your notifications off. This will make you use the phone when you actually need it.
One in four children ‘have problematic smartphone use’
One in four children and young people could have problematic smartphone use, according to research that also suggests such behavior is associated with poorer mental health.
The amount of time children and teens spend using their devices has become an issue of growing concern, but experts say there is still little evidence as to whether spending time on screens is harmful in itself.
The experts behind the latest study said they wanted to look beyond the time young people were spending on smartphones and instead explore the type of relationship they had with such devices.
The results suggest more than 23% of young people have a dysfunctional relationship with their smartphones, and that this appears to be associated with poorer mental health – although the research cannot say whether phone use is driving such problems.
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