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Women More Prone To Smartphone Addiction Than Men: Study

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Smartphone owners use their phones for more than just calls and mobile browsing, but there's a stark difference between how long and to what extent men and women use their phones. A new study has found that compared to men, women spend more time on their smartphones and are more likely to get addicted to the gadget than men.

A South Korean study conducted a survey of 1,236 students from six different colleges in Suwon, Gyeonggi. Findings showed that 52 percent of female respondents use their smartphones for at least 4 hours a day while only 29.4 percent of the male respondents do the same.

Notably, the ratio of female respondents who admitted to using their smartphones 6 hours a day is much higher than the men's - 22.9 percent versus 10.8 percent.

The researchers caution against becoming too attached to the device, saying that smartphone dependency may have harmful health effects such as increased anxiety.

"Female users are advised to consciously put their phones out of their reach from time to time," said Professor Jae-Yeon Jang from the Ajou University School of Medicine, one of the researchers.

Male participants used the devices typically during breaks. On the other hand, female participants often sneak a peek on their smartphones while on the go or talking to other people.

Moreover, women use their smartphones for more than just making calls, playing games or checking the internet to look for information. Female smartphone users pick up their devices to regularly check social networking sites such as Instagram and Facebook.

Notable findings included that 20.1 percent of female respondents reported to feeling insecure when they cannot use their devices. The ratio is a stark difference from the male participants' 8.9 percent.

The study noted that the women's desire for communication and networking through their smartphones are way stronger than that of men's. This stronger desire drives women to get hooked on social networking sites through the gadgets.

"More women appeared to believe that interpersonal relationships can be fostered via the internet, which is consistent with women’s preferences for social networking services," wrote the researchers. "Furthermore, compared with men, women used smartphones to communicate with others more often, which may contribute to greater smartphone dependency among women."

The research was published in the May/June 2016 issue of Public Health Reports.

Social Media Addiction

In the United States, a recent study found that too much time spent on social media can result in the development of body image issues and eating problems.

Findings showed that the social media users who spent the longest hours online daily had 2.2 times the risk of developing these problems.

Moreover, a 2015 study in Canada found that having more than 300 Facebook friends can stress out some teenage social media users.

But on the bright side, the same research discovered that supporting Facebook friends by liking their posts and leaving positive comments can lower cortisol levels.

Photo: Michele Ursino | Flickr

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