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Smartphone & depression


New research from University of Arizona

This research was undertaken to see whether the use of mobile phones – and the time spent on them is linked to depression in young people.

the question researched was -is excessive mobile phone usage is a consequence of depression in young people or a cause.

The study, which investigated mobile phone dependency in 346 older adolescents aged 18 to 20, found that dependence on mobile phones predicts higher incidence of depressive symptoms and loneliness. 

Lead researcher Matthew Lapierre, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the College of Social and Behavioural Sciences, said:

   “Smartphones can be useful. They help us connect with others. We’ve really been trying to focus on this idea of dependency and problematic use of smartphones being the driver for these psychological outcomes.”

Co-author of the study Pengfei Zhao, a qualitative research methodologist, added:

   “If depression and loneliness lead to smartphone dependency, we could reduce dependency by adjusting people’s mental health,” Zhao said. “But if smartphone dependency [precedes depression and loneliness], which is what we found, we can reduce smartphone dependency to maintain or improve wellbeing.”

So what do I think?

Do I agree with the findings?

What seems to be happening more and more is that instead of us using the phones as a tool or as a way of communicating etc – we are now becoming dependent on phones for all aspects of our lives.

This then leads to the phone controlling our lives – which cannot be healthy in any shape or form.

Think about it – you’re at home alone – what do you do? You go on social media and “chat” to people you have never met and actually may never meet or speak to face to face. So when they go offline – you’re left feeling even more lonely and even more depressed!

Isn’t it time we “detoxed”? Isn’t it time we showed young people that the most effective way to create a world in which their loneliness and depression is eroded and providing connections in the real world with real people and real stimulation?

We are now becoming a society which relies on a computer to satisfy our needs and wants of recognition, acceptance, connection, – which then in turn will make us feel like we matter. But this is a shallow way of getting this and is only ever short lived. What do we do when we run out of power ???

What we truly need is real life connections and a real life social life. The interaction between people face to face has so much more  power than a square screen ever will.

Be honest – how many of you have your notifications on all the time for everything? How many of you wait for the bleep?? What happens when you wake up in the morning and you see there are NO notifications? Your day starts with a simple need not being met. You feel rejected, unwanted… by who? Someone you may never have even met..

We are now all becoming conditioned to respond to the bleeps… its like a reward… it’s like training a dog to come at a whistle… but our simple basic needs of feeling safe and secure are not being met and we are left exhausted and demoralised..

Salt water might seem to promise to rehydrate you when you’re desperate for a drink. But it never truly can. In fact, it will make you even thirstier.

When we help young people control and limit their smartphone usage, we are effectively helping them begin to ‘drink real water’ so that life can be more satisfying and meaningful.

The researchers found that some people turned to their smartphones as a response to stress, but of course there are much better ways to manage stress. 


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