Being addicted to one’s mobile phone and Internet has been linked with mental health issues like depression and anxiety disorders in a new paper published in the journal Computers in Human Behaviour.
Addiction to anything at all is never good; being addicted to one’s mobile phone is no exception. Cellphone use as to the motivation of the user has been linked with anxiety and depression among young adults in a new study.
Technological devices might be of great help and convenience to us, but it cannot be denied that they have always been accompanied with fear and concern as to the potential negative effects resulting from our constant dependence on them. These feelings are justified, given the new study focusing on over 300 undergraduate students.
The participants responded to a questionnaire including questions relating to mental health, mobile device and Internet use, and the motivations leading them to take to them.
The results show that those reporting to be highly-addictive to the Internet and cellphones had greater scores for depression and anxiety. On the other hand, those whose motivation to use the technologies was merely boredom showed no link between their use of the devices and negative mental health effects.
In a follow-up study, author Alejandro Lleras found that having a cellphone in times of stress, as opposed to using it, was associated with a lower risk of being negatively affected by the stress than those who did not have their phones. Lleras explains that the access to a phone was considered to be a comfort in anxiety-inducing conditions.
Lleras says that the motivation for going online is, therefore, an important aspect of technology usage relative to depression and anxiety.
Lleras and his colleague, Tayana Panova,conclude that the association between motivation for using mobile phones and mental health has to be investigated further. Lleras adds that being online or talking on the phone should not be deemed a scary habit because simply interacting with the device is not the cause of depression. But, he says that tackling mental health issues like depression and anxiety disorders might be supported by cutting off addiction to technological devices.