Excessive Smartphone Use is Problematic

A survey of more than 3,400 university students in the U.S. found widespread problems linked to excessive smartphone use, including lower grades, trouble concentrating in class or at work, feeling fretful or impatient without their phones, missing work due to smartphone use and developing light-headedness or blurred vision due to excessive screen time. Researchers from the University of Chicago, the UK’s University of Cambridge and the University of Minnesota developed the survey and analyzed the results. Their findings suggested significantly higher alcohol misuse among students reporting problematic smartphone use compared to a control group but found no significant link with any other type of substance abuse or addiction. Excessive phone use was also linked to lower self-esteem, depression, anxietyattention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, the survey revealed that students with problematic smartphone use tended to engage in sex less frequently than their peers. However, the percentage of students reporting two or more sexual partners in the past year was significantly higher among excessive phone users than among sexually-active students with no problem phone use.


Jon E. Grant et al, “Problematic smartphone use associated with greater alcohol consumption, mental health issues, poorer academic performance, and impulsivity,” Journal of Behavioral Addictions, July 8, 2019, doi.org/10.1556/2006.8.2019.32

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