Mental Manipulation


Ava Flores, Staff writer

On average how long do you think you spend on your phone? It is shocking to know that the average kid stays on their phone for seven hours and 22 minutes per day. The 20th century generations have increasingly become more addicted to their phone then those during the 1900’s. Recent studies have shown that excessive or “maladaptive” use of our phones may be leading to greater incidences of depression and anxiety in users. Teenagers are now using their phones to avoid negative emotions. According to a 2015 study published by Computers in Human Behavior it says, “318 graduate students at the University of Illinois, researchers found that people who already experience depression and anxiety often turn to their phones or other “information and communication technologies” (ICTs) as a tool for avoidance coping—temporarily distracting themselves from negative feelings. Over a long period of time, this can make a person more vulnerable to mental health problems.” The overuse of technology can put individuals in a negative feedback loop which affects their mental health and their ability to socialize with others. A review of literature on cell phone addiction, published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, describes cell phone and technology addiction manifesting in one or more ways. The article states, “choosing to use your device even in “dangerous or prohibited contexts;” losing interest in other activities; feeling irritable or uneasy if separated from your phone; or feeling anxiety or loneliness when you’re unable to send or receive an immediate message. The researchers also find that adolescents and women may be more susceptible to this behavioral addiction.” Medically it is strongly recommended that you stay on your phone for two and a half hours maximum. This gives your brain time to rearrange itself and for you to stay focused on academics. If this seems to be a struggle for you, a helpful tip would be to each day try and shave 30-60 minutes off your average time of phone usage.