BY ELIZABETH BATES-TORREY
EDITED BY BENJAMIN LEVESQUE
Studies have shown that cell phones increase your level of having depression, anxiety, lower your GPA score, and mess with your sleep schedule. Just using your phone every once in awhile doesn't really cause these problems, but if you are addicted to your phone, and you use it all of the time, these things can start to happen.
Phones can mess with your sleep schedule. Most people sleep with their phones right next to their bed. This causes them to check their phone for new messages, notifications, or posts, even if they don't feel their phone vibrate or hear it ring because they don't want to miss anything. According to Pew Research Center, “44% of cell phone owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn't miss any calls, text messages, or other updates during the night. In addition, 67% of cell owners say that they find themselves checking their cell phone for messages, alerts, or calls-even though they didn't notice their phone ringing or vibrating.” (Aaron Smith). If people put their phones anywhere other than right next to them when they are sleeping, they would probably get a better night’s sleep.
Mobile phones also cause the temptation to check them all the time, and it distracts people. This makes them not be able to do their work or concentrate on what they need to be doing. Instead of working, people will text or play on their phone. This is bad because then they end up procrastinating important tasks. According to The Pew Research Center, “Cell phone owners say that their phone has made it at least somewhat harder to forget about work at home or on the weekends, to give people undivided attention, or to focus on a single task without being distracted.” (Aaron Smith). Something we need to work on is putting our phones aside until we finish what needs to be done.
Researchers also did an investigation to see if phone usage affects your GPA, and the results revealed that people who use their phone have a comparatively lower GPA than people who don't use their phone as often. The amount of time you spend using electronics for things other than education actually affects your grades. According to Medical Daily, “The findings showed cell phone use/texting was negatively related to GPA, and positively related to anxiety.” (Lizette Borreli). This is most likely because instead of studying, or doing their work, people are using their phones, because that is what they would rather be doing.
Anxiety; when people use their cell phones all the time for entertainment, or a lot of the time, it can cause anxiety and stress. Researchers found that cell phones can make you feel like you are never “free” and that they can cause stress because it’s always with you. This can also make you less happy as well. Medical Daily says, “Overall, those with high cell phone use tended to have slower GP! Higher anxiety, and lower satisfaction with their life or happiness compared to their peers who reportedly used their cell phone less.” (Lizette Borreli). This problem is just going to keep getting bigger because better phones are being made, and the new generation is growing up with them all around them. Illinois News Bureau also has information on this, “A new study from the University of Illinois finds that high engagement with mobile technology is linked to anxiety and depression in college-age students.” (Sarah Banducci). College-aged students, or even teens, who use their phones a lot at home have a higher score on anxiety scales than those who don't use their phone that much. This could be because when they are separated from their phone, or their phone dies, they get anxious because they are addicted to their phone and need to be aware of what others are saying and doing.
Like anxiety, depression has also been linked to cell phone usage. Individuals who use their mobile device a lot scored a lot higher on depression scales than those who don't use their phone very much. According to The Illinois News Bureau, “People who self-described as having a really addictive-style behaviors toward the internet and cell phones scored much higher on depression and anxiety scales” (Sarah Banducci). If mobile phones are causing this much of a problem, it should probably be taken under consideration to use them less to help your health.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it could be because you use your phone too much, and it’s best to reduce the time you spend using it, and try to ease off of checking it every five minutes. If you are having sleeping problems because of distractions from your phone, try putting your phone across the room while you work. If your GPA is low and you use your phone a lot, there could defiantly be a connection there. Try not using your phone as much, and see if your grades improve, if they do, then keep not using your phone as much -- make it a habit. Even though it may be tempting to check your phone all of the time, sometimes you have to put your phone out of sight and do other things. At first it will probably be hard, but after a while it will get easier not to check your phone as much and you will feel better. As for having anxiety and depression because of cell phone use, you should probably consult a doctor or counselor to help you.
In conclusion, cell phones can mess with your mental health. They can lower GPA scores, cause anxiety, depression, lower your happiness, mess up your sleep schedule, and cause temptation. These problems are only going to get bigger as the new generation comes, because there are more and more mobile phones being made all of the time, but you can take a step towards a better direction for your health and how you use your mobile device.
Banducci, Sarah. “Study Links Mobile Device Addiction to Depression and
Anxiety.” News Bureau. The Illinois New Bureau. 02 March. 2016. Web. 03
Borreli, Lizette. “Students’ Cell Puone Usage May Increase Anxiety, Decrease
GPA and Happiness.” Medical Daily. IBT Media Inc., 06 Dec. 2013. Web.
27 Mar. 2017.
Hypergrow. "Business + Phone Stock." Pinterest. N.p., 22 Nov. 2015. Web. 10
Smith, Aaron. “Part lll: The impact of Mobile Phones on People’s Lives.”
Pew Research Center: Internet, Science, and tech. Pew Research Center,
29 Nov. 2012. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.