Cell Phones and Mental Health

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With the advent of microtechnology and the Internet, cell phones evolved into efficient and indispensable assistances in people’s daily lives. Individuals may use it to access information, connect with other people everywhere and anytime, or as entertainment by playing games or scrolling social media. Nevertheless, excessive use of smartphones and social media can take a toll on teens’ health. Labos (2019) revealed that in 2018 95% of American teens had a smartphone. Approximately 44% of them used it “multiple times a day,” while the other 45% reported being “almost constantly” online. There is no doubt that the pandemic and its restrictive measures exacerbated the problem. A chain of recent studies proves that inefficient use of mobile gadgets increases the risk of developing such mental disorders as anxiety and depression. Although additional research is needed, smartphones among adolescents should be limited as much as possible.

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There is a strong association between cell phone addiction and signs of loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Hopelab and Well Being Trust survey revealed that young people with moderate and severe depression feel lonely and inferior to others who seem to do better (Providence Medical, 2020). Riehm et al. (2019) found that teens who spend more than three hours per day scrolling social media are at higher risk of internalizing mental problems like feeling sad, lonely, anxious, or depressed. Viner et al. (2019) also state that young people who use social media multiple times a day are less happy and satisfied with their lives than those using it rarely. They also tend to report more psychological distress and anxiety.

Decreased sleep, less physical activity, and cyberbullying are among the main factors that adversely affect teens’ mental health. The excessive use of cell phones and social media among adolescents leads to sleep deprivation (Viner et al., 2019). Instead of going to sleep early and calmly, young people opt to continue scrolling through social media feeds and keep their minds active. The various gadgets produce blue light that suppresses melatonin, breaking the natural sleep cycle (Providence Medical, 2021). In its turn, disrupted sleep increases the risk of anxiety, aggressive behavior, and depression in adolescents. Cell phone addiction supports a sedentary lifestyle decreasing motivation to go sports or walk outside. Typical bullying that occurs in schools has escalated to a new level with Internet-enabled electronic devices. Cyberbullying often leads to mental problems due to worthlessness and low self-esteem it causes (Providence Medical, 2021). Social media also promote self-harm and digital self-harm by imposing certain body and life standards.

A common argument in favor of unlimited use of electronic devices and social media is that recent studies found a slight negative correlation between well-being and excessive screen time, failing to identify direct causality. The majority of them assess the screen time in aggregate, treating all types of activities (gaming, reading, or chatting) in the same manner (Resnick, 2019). Nevertheless, smartphones changed the way adolescents live and interact with others. Studies and everyday evidence prove a strong relationship between frequent use of devices and mental health disorders. Although its actual effect may be exaggerated at the moment, teenagers should limit social media time, take breaks, use relaxative apps, filter the harmful content, and avoid going online 30 minutes before sleep.

To conclude, limited use of smartphones, current human companions, make life easier and enjoyable, while excessive screen time may bring severe mental health consequences. Addictive adolescents were at high risk of developing depression, and anxiety, engaging in self-harm, and are more likely to consider suicide. The main adverse factors related to cell phones are lack of physical activity, decreased sleep, and cyberbullying. Smartphones accompanied by social media can hurt the mental health of young people. Screen time should be limited to increase physical activity and avoid feelings of loneliness and worthlessness.

References

Is your phone making you feel anxious or depressed? (2020). Providence Medical. Web.

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Labos, C. (2019). Cell phones, teens, and mental health. Two recent studies shed light on the negative psychological consequences of social media use. Montreal Gazette. Web.

Resnick, B. Have smartphones really destroyed a generation? We don’t know. Vox. n.d. Web.

Riehm, K. E., Feder, K. A., Tormohlen, K. N., Crum, R. M., Young, A. S., Green, K. M., Pacek, L. R., La Flair, L. N., & Mojtabai, R. (2019). Associations between time spent using social media and internalizing and externalizing problems among US youth. JAMA Psychiatry, 76(12), 1266-1273. Web.

Viner, R. M., Gireesh, A., Stiglic, N., Hudson, L. D., Goddings, A. L., Ward, J. L., & Nicholls, D. E. (2019). Roles of cyberbullying, sleep, and physical activity in mediating the effects of social media use on mental health and well-being among young people in England: a secondary analysis of longitudinal data. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 3(10), 685-696. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, July 26). Cell Phones and Mental Health. Retrieved from https://psychologywriting.com/cell-phones-and-mental-health/

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"Cell Phones and Mental Health." PsychologyWriting, 26 July 2022, psychologywriting.com/cell-phones-and-mental-health/.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Cell Phones and Mental Health'. 26 July.

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PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Cell Phones and Mental Health." July 26, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/cell-phones-and-mental-health/.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Cell Phones and Mental Health." July 26, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/cell-phones-and-mental-health/.


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PsychologyWriting. "Cell Phones and Mental Health." July 26, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/cell-phones-and-mental-health/.