Do you spend a lot of time using your mobile phone? Don’t worry, it won’t have an effect on your mental health.
British scientists measured the time spent by 199 iPhone and 46 Android users on their phones for a week. Participants were also asked about their mental and physical health according to clinical scales that measure symptoms of anxiety and depression. They also completed a survey on how they evaluate the use of their smartphones themselves.
After the study, the team concluded that the numbers of hours or time participants used the smartphone was not related to poor mental health in any way.
The study was led by Heather Shaw and Kristoffer Geyer of Lancaster University with the participation of David Ellis and Brittany Davidson of the University of Bath and Fenja Ziegler and Alice Smith of the University of Lincoln.
“A person’s daily smartphone pickups or screen time did not predict anxiety, depression, or stress symptoms. Additionally, those who exceeded clinical ‘cut off points’ for both general anxiety and major depressive disorder did not use their phone more than those who scored below this threshold,” explained the study’s lead author, Heather Shaw, from the Department of Psychology at Lancaster University, cited by Eurekalert.
Instead, the study found that the participants’ mental health was associated with concern about their own use of the phone. They came to this conclusion when they evaluated the number of statements such as “Using my smartphone longer than I had intended” and “Having tried time and again to shorten my smartphone use time but failing all the time.”
Instead, the study found that participants’ mental health was associated with their concern about their own use of the phone. They came to this conclusion when they assessed the number of claims such as “I used my smartphone longer than I expected” and “I was trying again and again to shorten the usage time of my smartphone but it failed every time”.
“It is important to consider actual device use separately from people’s concerns and worries about technology. This is because the former doesn’t show noteworthy relationships with mental health, whereby the latter does,” concluded Shaw.