WASHINGTON, September 4, 2014 — Does it seem like you never see the faces of young adults anymore because they are constantly looking at their smart phones? It turns out it is not your imagination.
A new study out of Baylor University has found that using cell phones is a more time consuming for college students than any other activity, including sleeping.
Dr. James Roberts, a professor of marketing, headed the study and found that addiction to cell phone is real.
Roberts’s research found that women between the ages of 18 and 22 spend an average of 600 minutes or ten hours a day on their cell phones.
The men did not fare much better at 485 minutes or eight hours a day using their phone although.
An average day for the women consisted of 94 minutes a day testing, 48 minutes sending emails, 38 minutes on Facebook, surfing the internet for about 34 minutes and finishing off with listening to music for 26 minutes.
Although the men spend less time on these activities, they are not less addicted. They just seem to send shorter messages. Men prefer different activities such as watching youtube and playing games, whereas young women spend enormous amounts of time on Pintrest and Instagram. Texting is the number one cell phone activity for both genders.
The women’s choice in activities shows that they use their devices to maintain social relationships whereas men tend to prefer more solitary activities.
Although people are using their cell phones for so called social media it is not an actual social interaction and the constant use of tech devices can cause a lack of development in social skills and an escape from real world activities.
The generation in college today cannot remember a time when computers were not in every home and the advances in technology are making it so nearly all activities can be done quickly by cell phone, all of which leads to the addiction.
The Baylor study is titled “The invisible addiction: Cell-phone activities and addiction among male and female college students”, and focused on what makes the smart phone so addictive.
The research team took 24 cellphone activities and asked Baylor students to participate in an online survey.
The questions were about what activities the students used their phones for and an estimation on time spent on each activity.
The excessive cell phone use is becoming outright dangerous.
People in this age group are more likely to text or use their phones while driving, and would not even consider turning their phone off when they get in a car.
The National Safety Council states that 1.2 million crashes in 2012 involved talking on cell phones. It was also estimated an additional 5 percent or more crashes in 2012 involved texting while driving.
Another study conducted in 2012 by Seton Hall University found similar results. That research found that young adults check their phones an average of 60 times per day and send out an average of 3,200 text messages per month.
Both men and women in the Baylor study admitted that they “feel nervous when their cell phone is not in sight” displaying a true sign of addiction.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association or the DSM, addiction is defined as at least three of the following points lasting for at least 12 months:
- Taking the substance in larger amounts or for longer than the you meant to
- Wanting to cut down or stop using the substance but not managing to
- Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of the substance
- Cravings and urges to use the substance
- Not managing to do what you should at work, home or school, because of substance use
- Continuing to use, even when it causes problems in relationships
- Giving up important social, occupational or recreational activities because of substance use
- Using substances again and again, even when it puts the you in danger
- Continuing to use, even when the you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance
- Needing more of the substance to get the effect you want (tolerance)
- Development of withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the substance.
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