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New research suggests smartphones should come with a health warning

March 6th 2015 / Elizabeth Bennett Google+ Elizabeth Bennett

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Academics from The University of Derby have found that Smartphones are psychologically addictive, encourage narcissistic tendencies and should come with an appropriate health warning

Whether it’s slying checking Instagram while out for dinner with friends or a quick once over on our emails in bed before we drift off, we’re all culprits of over-checking our smartphones. A new study has found though that smartphones are not just addictive but also have more detrimental effects on our mental wellbeing.

The research found that of the participants monitored, 13% we’re addicted to their smartphone with the average spending 3.6 hours a day on their device. Dr Zaheer Hussain, from the University of Derby’s Psychology department explained that, “People need to know the potential addictive properties of new technologies,” going so far to say that warnings should be implemented on particularly addictive smartphone apps.

“If you’re downloading a game such as Candy Crush or Flappy Bird, there could be a warning saying that you could end up playing this for hours and you have other responsibilities [that could be neglected],” the academic suggested.

As well as being psychologically addictive, the study found that overuse of a smartphone was linked highly to narcissism. “Narcissism is a negative personality trait and if a person is spending a lot of time on Facebook or Twitter, they’re more likely to display these types of traits,” said Hussain. With social networking apps coming in as the most popular with the participants studied, (87% of their smartphone use was spent on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) this is the biggest concern to come out of the report.

The study concludes: “If adverse effects of smartphones are well advertised, users might realise that despite using the device for improving communications, it can easily lead to narcissistic actions which can potentially breakdown familial relationships.”

Put your smartphones away; it looks like we're all need of a digital detox.

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