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Cellphone addiction an increasingly realistic possibility among youth

Cellphone addiction an increasingly realistic possibility among youth
Addicted: The study noted that approximately 60 percent of college students admit they may be addicted to their cell phone, and some indicated they get agitated when it is not in sight.Photo: Wikimedia Commons

We have all along suspected it. But now, we have research findings to confirm our suspicions: female college students spend an average of 10 hours a day on their cellphones and male students spend nearly eight, with excessive use posing potential risks for academic performance.

The study — based on an online survey of 164 college students — examined 24 cellphone activities and found that time spent on 11 of those activities differed significantly across the sexes. Some functions — among them Pinterest and Instagram — are associated significantly with cellphone addiction. But others that might logically seem to be addictive – Internet use and gaming — are not.

The study notes that approximately 60 percent of college students admit they may be addicted to their cellphone, and some indicated they get agitated when it is not in sight, said James Roberts, lead author of the article “The Invisible Addiction: Cellphone Activities and Addiction among Male and Female College Students.” The Baylor University study on cellphone activity has been recently published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions. “That’s astounding,” said Roberts. “As cellphone functions increase, addictions to this seemingly indispensable piece of technology become an increasingly realistic possibility.”

Among the key findings are:

  • Of the top activities, respondents overall reported spending the most time texting (an average of 94.6 minutes a day), followed by sending emails (48.5 minutes), checking Facebook (38.6 minutes), surfing the Internet (34.4 minutes) and listening to their iPods. (26.9 minutes).
  • Men send about the same number of emails but spend less time on each. “That may suggest that they’re sending shorter, more utilitarian messages than their female counterparts,” Roberts said.
  • Women spend more time on their cellphones. While that finding runs somewhat contrary to the traditional view that men are more invested in technology, “women may be more inclined to use cellphones for social reasons such as texting or emails to build relationships and have deeper conversations.”
  • The men, while more occupied with using their cellphones for utilitarian or entertainment purposes, “are not immune to the allure of social media,” Roberts said. They spent time visiting such social networking sites as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Among reasons they used Twitter were to follow sports figures, catch up on the news — “or, as one male student explained it, ‘waste time,’” Roberts said.

Cellphone activities examined in the study included calling, texting, emailing, surfing the Internet, banking, taking photos, playing games, reading books, using a calendar, using a clock and a number of applications, among them the Bible, iPod, coupons, Google Maps, eBay, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, iTunes, Pandora and “other” (news, weather, sports, lifestyle-related applications and Snapchat.)

Date posted: July 6, 2015 Last modified: May 24, 2018 Total views: 3