Perils of Smartphone addiction. Edit 5 June, 2023 issue .

Perils of Smartphone addiction 

Smartphones have become integral part of our lives but they have negative impacts .

The new global study gathered data of 27,969 adults aged 18 to 24 years from over 40 countries, including around 4,000 from India. It found that women appear to be more affected.

As many as 74% of female respondents who received their first smartphone at age 6 were found experiencing serious mental health challenges as young adults with scores that fell within “distressed” or “struggling” MHQ range. This decreased to 61% for those who got their first smartphone at age 10 and 52% for those who acquired the device at 15 years. Among those who got their first smartphone at age 18, 46% were assessed as mentally distressed or struggling, the study found.

For males, the trend was similar though less acute. Around 42% of those who got their first smartphone at age 6 were classified under “distressed” or “struggling” mental states, which fell to 36% for those who got the device at age 18.

The study, “Age of first smartphone and mental wellbeing outcome”, used an assessment covering a range of symptoms and mental capabilities that were combined to provide an aggregate Mental Health Quotient (MHQ). These scores were then compared to the reported age of first smartphone or tablet ownership among the respondents.

The findings come against a backdrop of progressive global decline in the mental health of each younger generation across the internet-enabled world that began around 2010-2014. It is particularly relevant to India. According to McAfee’s Global Connected Family study released last year, smartphone use among Indian children aged 10-14 was at 83%, which was 7% above the international average of 76%.

In Kashmir valley too especially the children are facing much adverse impacts of smartphone. The need of the hour is to raise awareness about addiction  towards smartphones.