Study: Phone addiction may pose serious mental health risks

Study: Phone addiction may pose serious mental health risks

"I can't live without my phone" - a common phrase used by many. If you find yourself looking at your phone too often, you may want to stop and take note of this study.

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If you are one of those who battles to put your phone down, you’ll be relieved to know that you’re not alone. Amidst the many who claim they're addicted to their phones, you'll be surprised to learn that I am part of the group as well.  

Forbes recently reported that searches for the phrases 'phone addiction' and 'social media addiction' have risen on Google in the past few years, which shows that we are aware of the issue at hand, despite the irony of probably searching for those phrases while on our phones.

What constitutes addiction, though?

I came across an interesting study by Inc. that said most of us, especially millennials, check their phones up to 150 times a day. I'm also guilty, and most of you reading this probably are too. Whether it's my email or my social media, I subconsciously find myself reaching for my phone all the time. It's the first thing I do when I wake up and it's the last thing I check before going to bed. Therein lies the problem.

Read - The French government and mobile phone policies: Progressive or extreme?

But the reality, especially for younger people, is that heavy usage shows an increase in mental health issues and even a rise in depression and suicide among teens. 

A study published in 2015 shows that teens who spent more time with their friends and were involved in sports had a lower chance of being depressed. Suicide rates for this group also decreased. The opposite can be said for those who are constantly on their phone and detached from the real world.

The thing is though, millennials who have grown up with a phone in the hand know no better, with some even calling their phone 'a part of their life'.

Read: Four cellphone hacks everyone should know about

Phone addiction is a real thing. It exists, people! We get so used to looking down at the little screen in our hands that we sometimes forget to look up and enjoy the beauty of life.

I'd love to hear from you: Between you and your partner, who do you think is more addicted to their phone?

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