Are You Getting Overly Connected?
In recent years, the worldwide percentage of smartphone owners and users has increased steadily. With features including, among others, communication, Internet, and multimedia, smartphones—not least because of their convenience —have several benefits such as productivity enhancement, facilitated information seeking,
and heightened pleasure via social interactions.
However, it is not without its negative consequences and possible dangers associated with the device use!
Constantly checking for notifications
Mental health problems including depression and anxiety
Physical problems due to posture and lack of exercise
Symptoms commonly associated with behavioral addictions (game/internet addictions), such as tolerance, withdrawal, mood dysregulation, cravings, and loss of control, have also been found to be related to problematic smartphone use, that interrupts daily functioning and life activities.
A study in adults by a researcher in 2015, found a higher risk for smartphone addiction in women than in men. The author relate this to the finding that women experience more social stress than men and with girls using their smartphones to a higher extent for social reasons than boys do. Boys, in turn, seem to focus more on gaming and media data sharing.
It was found that there was no influence of emotional intelligence on habitual or addictive smartphone behavior, while social stress positively influences addictive smartphone behavior, and a failure of self-regulation seems to cause a higher risk of addictive smartphone behaviour.
In another study in the Chinese population, the smartphone addiction is also more likely to appear in people who exhibit traits of conscientiousness (achievement-oriented), neuroticism (emotionally unstable, anxious and easily sensitive) and extroversion (sociable).
Try these simple steps to help you stop checking your phone so much
Turn off as many push notifications as possible
Keeping your phone out of bed
Try weaning yourself from the phone, by setting an alarm, spend some minutes going through all notifications and then reset the timer
Keep a folder containing apps that you want to limit your time with, and put this folder away from the main page of phone
You can also delete certain app temporarily during certain hours and reinstalling them back at another time of the day or week to restrict usage
You can also try turning the screen display setting of the phone into “grayscale” mode, so it doesn’t appear colourful everytime you use the phone
Let us know if you have tried any of the mentioned list above, or if you have any other tips to share with other readers!
(updated : February, 2020)
Disclaimer : The website may contain information relating to various conditions and treatment, gathered and sourced from reputable sources. However, this is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, it is solely intended for informational purposes only. Patients should always consult with a doctor or healthcare provider for thorough medical advice and information about diagnosis and treatment.
Risk factors for problematic smartphone use in children and adolescents: a review of existing literature. 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40211-019-00319-8
Modeling habitual and addictive smartphone behavior: The role of smartphone usage types, emotional intelligence, social stress, self-regulation, age, and gender. 2015. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563214007626
Over-connected? A qualitative exploration of smartphone addiction among working adults in China. 2019. https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-019-2170-z
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