Mobile phone addiction: The addiction to the screen is spreading

Forum Health Mobile phone addiction: The addiction to the screen is spreading

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    Mobile phone addiction: The addiction to the screen is spreading

    Sitting at home in front of the screen is probably most people’s daily routine during lockdown at the moment. However, if work and leisure are entirely on the screen, an addiction can develop with many negative consequences.

    The addiction to the screen

    The smartphone accompanies us continuously in everyday life and is practical for a variety of activities. It helps to organize appointments, maintain friendships and it entertains us whenever we want. Especially with younger people, the smartphone has an increased status due to its social component. But the devices also seem to have a high – and so far little noticed – addiction potential. Around four out of ten young adults reported signs of smartphone addiction in a recent study. The study was carried out by researchers from King’s College London (England). In the current study, the researchers came to the conclusion that 38.9 percent of 1,043 people surveyed between the ages of 18 and 30 show symptoms of smartphone addiction. This addiction seems to have negative consequences, such as poor sleep quality.

    Worse sleep due to smartphone use

    The current study from London examined, among other things, the extent to which frequent screen use affects sleep. The result of the investigation says that the group that showed signs of smartphone addiction also reported poorer sleep quality. The difference to people without symptoms of cell phone addiction, however, was not too great: 57.1 percent of those without cell phone addiction reported sleeping problems and of those with symptoms only 67.7 percent.

    Symptoms of smartphone addiction

    The first glance of the day and the last one before going to bed are for most people on their smartphones. Smartphone addiction is not yet a recognized clinical disease, which is why the research team at King’s College London looked for diagnostic options. To do this, they developed a “smartphone addiction scale” which they tested on over 1,000 young people in Great Britain. It was found that according to the scale, over a third of young adults show signs of cell phone addiction. Symptoms are a loss of control over the time spent in front of the smartphone, the perceived stress when the device is not available, and the neglect of other activities in order to spend more time with the mobile phone. Many of the test subjects had already tried to curb smartphone use – but without success.

    However, screen time alone is not decisive for a cell phone addiction. Frequent smartphone use is not uncommon: around a quarter of those surveyed (24.7 percent) used the mobile phone for more than three hours a day. Another 18.5 percent even looked at their smartphone for more than five hours a day. “Smartphones are increasingly becoming an indispensable part of our daily lives, and this study is an important step in examining their effects on dysfunctional use and sleep in the UK population,” said lead study author Samantha Sohn from the Institute of Psychology. Psychiatry and Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London.


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Forum Health Mobile phone addiction: The addiction to the screen is spreading