Ever wonder how your iPhone or Android smart phone is actually affecting you as a person?
A new study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior suggests that being overly involved with a smart device, such as a smart phone or tablet, is associated with mental health issues.
Researchers found that people who are highly involved/attached with their smart devices, such as thinking constantly about a smart device when it’s not being used, are more likely to suffer from depression and stress (but not anxiety).
However, people who just use their smart devices often don’t tend to suffer from depression, stress or anxiety because of their high usage.
“These findings suggest that it is the nature of the relationship a person has with their smart-device that is predictive of depression and stress, rather than the extent of use,” according to the study’s abstract.
The study included 274 participants who filled out an online survey. Although there is not a cause and effect relationship between smart device involvement and mental health issues, there is a significant association that is worth discussing.
Robert Weiss, a licensed clinical social worker and co-author of “Closer Together, Further Apart,” said in an email that the people in the study who are highly involved with their smart phones are likely people who are constantly checking their phones and stressing out about who will be contacting them.
“I think it’s important to state that these are folks who tend to be stressed out no matter what, regardless of whether they own a smart phone or tablet,” Weiss said. “The smart phone just gives them something new and different to focus on.”
He believes technology and smart devices are not to blame for stress, depression and anxiety. On the other hand, sometimes devices can aggravate other mental health problems like sex addiction, since there is a new digital outlet that can be used.
He added that obsession with anything in general could lead to depression and stress.
Here are Weiss’ three signs that you or someone you know is too involved with a smart device: