from FortinberryMurray Website
Smartphones are an integral part of most people's lives, allowing us to stay connected and in-the-know at all times.
The downside of that
convenience is that many of us are also addicted to the constant
pings, chimes, vibrations and other alerts from our devices, unable
to ignore new emails, texts and images.
What the researchers say:
On top of that, addiction to social media technology may actually have a negative effect on social connection.
In a survey of 135 San Francisco State students the researchers found that students who used their phones the most reported higher levels of feeling,
They believe the loneliness is partly a consequence of replacing face-to-face interaction with a form of communication where body language and other signals cannot be interpreted.
They also found that those same students almost constantly multitasked while studying, watching other media, eating or attending class.
This constant activity
allows little time for bodies and minds to relax and regenerate they
say and also results in "semi-tasking," where people do two or more
tasks at the same time - but half as well as they would have if
focused on one task at a time.
Push notifications, vibrations and other alerts on our phones and computers make us feel compelled to look at them by triggering the same neural pathways in our brains that once alerted us to imminent danger, such as an attack by a tiger or other large predator.
But just as we can train ourselves to eat less sugar, for example, we can take charge and train ourselves to be less addicted to our phones and computers.
The researchers suggest
turning off push notifications, only responding to email and social
media at specific times and scheduling periods with no interruptions
to focus on important tasks.
A couple of years ago a number of psychiatrists and psychologists coined term "Facebook depression" to describe their observation of how the use of social media increased the rate of depression among young people.
They were ridiculed at the time.
However subsequent neuropsychological studies have shown that their observations were spot on and we are now seeing the dangers only too clearly.