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Smartphone Dependency Puts Youngsters At A Higher Risk Of Depression, Warns Study; Tips To Reduce Smartphone Addiction

Is your kid addicted to 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.

Smartphone Dependency Puts Youngsters At A Higher Risk Of Depression, Warns Study; Tips To Reduce Smartphone Addiction

Smartphone dependency puts youngsters at a higher risk of depression

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Youngsters today are more addicted to mobile phones
  2. Do not allow your teenager kid to use phone before going to bed
  3. Too much use of smartphones can lead to improper sleeping pattern

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 it 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.

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 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.

Also read: If You Spend More Than These Many Hours A Day On Your Phone It Can Lead Obesity; Know Your Risks And Tips To Curb Smartphone Addiction

How to reduce smartphone dependency in youngsters?

1. 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.

2. Involve yourself in some physical exercise

Physical movement is very necessary for kids, youngsters as well as adults. The more time you will spend in other activities the less will be your interest in using mobile phones. You will feel relaxed and it will also enhance your sleeping pattern.

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More physical exercise can help you spend less time on phone
Photo Credit: iStock

3. 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 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.

Also read: Is Your Teen Depressed and Not Sleeping Well? Blame The Smartphones

4. 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 phone when you actually need it.

Also read: 5 Harmful Effects Of Mobile Phones On Your Brain

(With inputs from IANS)

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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