Technology has brought about a paradigm shift in the way people communicate today. As the communication paraphernalia continues to expand with the advent of cell phones, tablets and other electronic gadgets, they have changed the lives of people drastically. However, the general euphoria felt initially that these gizmos would alter people’s lives for the better, has begun to wane. The excessive use of technology has already started showing its detrimental effects.
Have you ever noticed how many times during the day you check your phone, just to look for some new message or a notification? Or others doing the same with their smartphones? It is quotidian because cell phones have become an intrinsic part of people’s lives. More so for the younger generation, for whom mobile phones have become ubiquitous and an inseparable part of their lives.
In recent times, internet and smartphones have become so pervasive that many people are addicted to them in the same way as many others might be addicted to drugs or alcohol. This addiction has led to social, academic, and occupational impairment in the affected people.
Understanding the crisis
Since mobile phones offer numerous benefits, people of all age categories, particularly the younger generation, have grown extremely attached to their cell phones, which manifested in several symptoms of behavioral addiction in them. One of the reasons why cell phones are such a rage with them might be because using it makes them feel included, socially acceptable and connected to others. Moreover, phones do provide a sense of security, especially to girls. It fosters a sense of safety and assurance that should anything untoward befall them, help is just a tap away.
However, its excess use has led to a set of other unwanted problems, such as students using cell phones during classes or while driving. Ever since smartphones entered our lives, the rates of teen depression and suicides have increased. It has led to consequences like addiction, lack of sleep, social isolation, etc., which are mentally taxing and hampers the user psychologically.
Since peer pressure generally marks one’s youth, it inevitably leads them to engage in addictive behaviours, like smoking and drinking, as they want to be identified as a part of a group and feel included. Now, use of mobile phones to access multiple social media forums or other apps is a new addition to the list of addictions.
Mitigating the frills of mobile usage
There is no denying the benefits of technology and smartphones, therefore completely cutting off from it cannot be a solution. However, one should pull the plug on the unrestricted use of mobile by youngsters.
- There should be a ban on mobile phones for students during school hours, so that they are not distracted in the class. They will then be able to focus more on interpersonal skills by interacting with other students.
- Parents should limit the time that their kids use smartphones. Using third party apps or built-in controls to restrict content or limit use can be a great idea.
Like addiction to a substance, dependence on mobile phones or social media can also reach a level where it might interfere with an individual’s day-to-day affairs. Addiction to mobiles is also associated with the risk of developing other mental disorders, like depression, anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It has become a major of concern in the wake of cyberbullying. At times, a person might even experience withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, one should exercise caution in using cell phones and other technology tools and ensure using mobile phones for what they are meant — as a tool of communication.
If you or your loved one is suffering from a mental disorder like depression due to excess mobile usage or for any other reason, contact the Depression Treatment Helpline to know more about the best depression rehab centers offering evidence-based intervention programs. Call our 24/7 depression helpline number 866-619-7729 or chat online with our representative for further information about the finest treatment centers for depression.