Smartphone addiction leads to personal, social, workplace problems

April 12, 2017
Excessive smartphone use leads to problems, and females are especially susceptible to addiction, according to new research from Binghamton University- State University of New York. Credit: Creative Commons license

Excessive smartphone use leads to problems, and females are especially susceptible to addiction, according to new research from Binghamton University- State University of New York.

"Our smartphones have turned into a tool that provides short, quick, immediate satisfaction, which is very triggering," said Isaac Vaghefi, assistant professor of management information systems at Binghamton University-State University of New York. "Our neurons get fired and dopamine is being released, and over time this makes us acquire a desire for quick feedback and immediate satisfaction. This process also has contributed to developing shorter attention spans and being more and more prone to boredom."

Vaghefi and his colleagues recently surveyed 182 college students and asked them to report their daily routine of smartphone usage. Based on the analysis of the responses, they classified the user as one of the following types: Thoughtful, Regular, Highly Engaged, Fanatic and Addict. Seven percent identified as "addicts" and 12 percent identified as "fanatics." Both groups experience personal, social and workplace problems due to a compulsive need to be on their smartphones. Overall, these users exhibited signs that could indicate depression, social isolation, social anxiety, shyness, impulsivity and low self-esteem. Females were most likely to exhibit susceptibility to .

"Technology addiction" is not an official mental disorder in DSM-V, but the umbrella term refers to addictive behavior related to social media, excessive texting, information overload, online shopping, gambling, video gaming, online pornography and overall smartphone usage.

"While self-identified "addict" users were in the minority, I predict addiction will increase as technology continues to advance and application, game and gadget developers find new ways to ensure users' long term engagement with technology," said Vaghefi.

Vaghefi said that if you recognize any of these signs, you may want to consult professional help:

  • You use technology as a way of escaping problems or relieving feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression.
  • You ignore what's happening in real time in favor of what's happening virtually.
  • You constantly check your smartphone, even when it doesn't ring or vibrate.
  • You get paranoid when you do not have your with you.

The paper, "A typology of user liability to IT addiction," was published in Information Systems Journal.

Explore further: New framework could help online addicts reduce their usage

More information: Isaac Vaghefi et al, A typology of user liability to IT addiction, Information Systems Journal (2017). DOI: 10.1111/isj.12098

Related Stories

New framework could help online addicts reduce their usage

January 9, 2017

Research has shown that internet addicts do not always feel guilty about their usage, and in many cases, they do not even perceive their usage as problematic. A new model developed by researchers at Binghamton University, ...

Recommended for you

Game study not playing around with PTSD relief

May 26, 2017

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients wrestling with one of its main symptoms may find long-term relief beyond medication thanks to the work of a Western researcher.

Bouldering envisioned as new treatment for depression

May 25, 2017

A growing body of research suggests that bouldering, a form of rock climbing, can help build muscle and endurance while reducing stress—and a new study co-led by a University of Arizona doctoral student of psychology suggests ...

Study documents range of challenging meditation experiences

May 24, 2017

Meditation is increasingly being marketed as a treatment for conditions such as pain, depression, stress and addiction, and while many people achieve therapeutic goals, other meditators encounter a much broader range of experiences—sometimes ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.