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Smartphone addiction: a growing epidemic
March 7, 2023
Cell phones have become an integral part of our lives. Living without them becomes more difficult as each year goes by.
Smartphone ownership among teens has risen significantly in recent years. Teens spend an average of 8 hours a day on their phones. This adds up to over 1,500 hours of screen time annually.
They are designed to be extremely addictive. According to researchers, the gray matter in the brains of those addicted to their phones strongly resembled the level of gray matter in a drug addict’s brain.
The widespread increase in phone use results in addiction and dependency on cell phones in teens. Phone addiction increases feelings of loneliness, stress, anxiety, and insecurity.
There has been a rise in suicide rates and depression correlated to phone addiction. Between 2010-2015, the rate of severe depression among girls increased by 58%. According to the National Library of Medicine, “Social media can affect adolescents’ self-view and interpersonal relationships through social comparison and negative interactions, including cyberbullying; moreover, social media content often involves normalization and even promotion of self-harm and suicidality among youth.”
Although there are many benefits to cell phones, are phones worth it at the expense of our mental health?