BENGALURU: People glued to their smartphones are not uncommon now at our dining tables, on roads and in parties. Apart from giving a false sense of companionship, smartphones also make us feel validated when we share updates, and garner those coveted ‘likes’. However, anything in extreme can be detrimental to our physical and mental health, and it is necessary that we keep that phone away before it starts eating into our sleeping and family time.
Pragya Rashmi, a consultant psychologist, says that smartphone addiction can affect you through three ways:Device: The white light emitted from smartphones can affect eyes. Also, due to the excessive use of thumbs while texting, users can develop neural impulsivity. Holding the device for a long time can lead to headache and body ache.Interactions and communications: Being addicted to smartphones can make you ignore people around you, thus straining communication with them.
Security: Sharing personal data on phone apps can compromise the user’s security.
Elaborating on the classification of smartphone addiction, Jayant Mahadevan, assistant professor, Centre for Addiction Medicine, Department of Psychiatry in NIMHANS, says: “Though smartphone addiction is the colloquial term being used, research in this area looks at specific aspectsfor which the consumer is using the smartphone. Some use phones for social networking, some for gaming. These all come under behavioral addiction since there is no chemical stimulant here. A person using cellphones excessively can do it for two elementary reasons – to get a high, and to escape a distressing situation.”
“There might be other underlying mental health issues that might give rise to smartphone addiction. The co-occurence of ADHD, depression and anxiety is very high among individuals with smartphone addiction. So when a person seeks help for smartphone addiction, it is necessary to check if he/she has any underlying mental health issues,” adds Jayant.
The constant browsing of social media through smartphone can have a devastating effect on your mental health too, and can lead to depression. Pragya says: “When you are only seeing happy faces, it can make you depressed. There is a new theory now that we are so obsessed with perfection now that being human is no longer in.”