Smartphone overuse may be bad for you: Study
Using your smartphone to relax and pass time may be associated with negative feelings, lack of control and a reduced sense of purpose in life, a study warns.
The study is the first to thoroughly evaluate how smartphone use is associated with measures of subjective and psychological well-being.
Researchers at Deakin University in Australia showed habitual smartphone use and entertainment use — to relax, escape and pass time— were the best predictors of lower well-being.
The survey of over 500 students found problematic smartphone use was associated with feelings of negative emotions, lack of control, a reduced sense of purpose in life, and an ability to resist social pressure.
“There’s a constant stream of news and entertainment in our life now, and if that content is not necessarily positive it might be contributing to technological overload or techno-exhaustion,” said lead researcher Sharon Horwood from Deakin’s School of Psychology. “While there has been some analysis of smartphone use and subjective well-being, this study goes into much greater depth,” Horwood said.
Past research has examined well-being in terms of life satisfaction and whether people tend to experience more positive emotions than negative emotions.
“This research offers a more complete picture of what makes the ‘good life’ including positive social relationships, a sense of personal growth, autonomy, and having a sense of control over one’s life,” Horwood said.
“While we found that smartphone use is unrelated to people’s overall life satisfaction, it is associated with mood and these broader indicators of human flourishing,” she said.
“Well-being is about feeling satisfied with your life, managing day-to-day activities, and positive relationships. We found that problematic smartphone use impacts all those things,” he said.
Horwood said there are four main areas of well-being which negatively related to problematic smartphone use.