A new study suggests that users who constantly check their smartphones are likely to be depressed. The study found a link between phone use, emotional instability and lack of focus.
Researchers at Baylor University conducted a study of 346 students between the ages of 19 and 24, with the average participant's age coming in at 21. They presented the participants with an intricate questionnaire to assess each one's personality and level of phone addiction.
The results will be published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences and are available online now. The researchers determined that "A person who is moody and temperamental may be more likely to be addicted to their cell phone than more stable individuals. Much like a variety of substance addictions, cell phone addiction may be an attempt at mood repair."
The researchers also found a link between impulsiveness and phone addiction. Participants who were less able to focus on tasks, also known as attention deficit syndrome, were more likely to experience cell phone addiction.
In addition, a relationship between personality type and phone addiction was also established. Those individuals who were shyer and more introverted were less likely to be addicted to their phones and more outgoing personalities were more prone to be hooked on various forms of technology and social media.
On average, the student participants texted for 95 minutes each day, and emailed for 49 minutes. The average participant also spent an average of 39 minutes each day checking Facebook alone. Some participants who were heavily addicted to their phones, however, spent a whopping 10 hours per day looking at their mobile devices.
Researchers found that these heavy users were most likely to have unstable personalities, which caused them to seek distraction or mood enhancement via their mobile technology. "Incessant checking of emails, sending texts, tweeting, and surfing the web may act as pacifiers for the unstable individual distracting him or herself from the worries of the day and providing solace, albeit temporarily, from such concerns," the researchers noted.