Go ahead, cut the figurative cord: Turn off your smart phone.
It may make you happier.
A new study published in the Computers in Human Behaviour journal states it has confirmed what most of us already know: Smart phones are bad for our mental health.
Researchers at Kent State University in Ohio tracked how much time a group of 500 university student spent on their phones. According to Time magazine, the study determined greater cellphone use “negatively correlated with satisfaction and happiness” – in other words, students who used their phones more were also found to be more anxious. These results differed from previous studies that found being more connected has made us better friends and family members, built wider social circles, and reduced loneliness.
Since students agreed to share their grades with the Kent researchers, the new study also reports a connection with lower grade-point averages, “presumably,” the authors concluded, “because the students were more anxious and unable to concentrate on their studies.” (Or maybe they just couldn’t resist answering their phone when they should have been studying, hence the lower grades.)
So even as cellphones have become smaller and lighter, the burden they impose has only gotten heavier. Researchers speculated that students might have felt anxious because they were expected to always keep in touch with their friends – whether they wanted to, in that moment, or not. Or they didn’t get any alone time, a respite from a busy world.
Because that darn phone never stops ringing. And we never stop answering.