It is looking increasing likely that smartphone addiction is real as another study highlights the problem. However, exactly which part of the mobile experience is addictive remains to be seen.
According to researches at King’s College in London, there is clear evidence of “problematic smartphone usage”. To reach the conclusion the team combined the data of 41 studies that analyzed 42,000 total adolescents.
Issued in BMC Psychiatry, the study shows 25% of young people studied have a bordering smartphones addiction. Furthermore, they experience clear withdrawal symptoms when they do not have access to their phone.
Smartphone Addiction is Real
Among the behavior adolescents showed when separated from their handsets included a lack of sleep, depression, and “panicky” episodes.
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Nicola Kalk, a member of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, said the source of addiction is unknown. She points out it is unclear if the smartphone is addictive or the apps and services available on them.
Kalk adds smartphones are part of day-to-day life and are here to stay. As such, studies are important to show how people engage with technology.
“Nevertheless, there is a need for public awareness around smartphone use in children and young people, and parents should be aware of how much time their children spend on their phones.”
More Time is Needed
While it is clear smartphone addiction is real, there is still debate about how dangerous it is. Certainly, around 25% of analyzed teens getting acute withdrawal symptoms is cause for concern. However, some still believe the science behind the phenomena is nascent.
Speaking to PhoneArena, Amy Orben, a research fellow at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at the University of Cambridge, said more studies are needed:
“It has been shown previously that smartphone effects are not a one-way street, but that mood can impact the amount of smartphone use, as well.”
Is smartphone addiction real? Let us know how you feel if you don’t use your phone for a while.