This is what spending too much time on our phones is really to our minds and bodies

Written by Amy Beecham

Yes, we all spend more time on our phones than we know we should. But a new study has revealed exactly what impact it’s having on us. 

How many times a day do you check your phone? 30? 40? More than you care to admit? Yep, us too. But spending too much time scrolling on our mobiles doesn’t just make us guilty of phubbing and at risk of going what our parents would call square-eyed from screen time, it’s actually having a very real impact on everything from our self-esteem to our cognitive outcomes.

Recent research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that problematic smartphone use is linked to loneliness and problems with emotional self-regulation.

It’s serious stuff. The results of multiple studies indicated that participants with higher levels of smartphone addiction tended to exhibit worse working memory, visual reaction time, auditory reaction time, ability to inhibit motor response, and behavioral inhibition compared to participants with lower levels of smartphone addiction.

We’ve all been there: desperate to check Instagram after a big night out or engage with the discourse on Twitter after yet another influential pop culture moment. But the amount we depend on our devices is more than just a social problem. In fact, the fear of being without your phone – nomophobia – is even recognised as a psychological condition.

Do we all spend too much time on our phones?

As such, the researchers Rosa Fabio, Alessia Stracuzzi, and Riccardo Lo Faro concluded that people with high levels of smartphone addiction display less self-control, deficiencies in cognitive tasks and slower reaction times than those who don’t

The researchers additionally said that people with lower levels of smartphone addiction have a better perception of their general well-being and quality of life, considering these participants displayed fewer procrastination behaviors and less fear of being excluded.

A good reason to put down your device this weekend.

Images: Getty

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