Scientists at Lancaster University in the UK have refuted the view that a long time spent behind the screen of a smartphone and other devices can harm the mental health of the user.
The researchers estimated how much time during the week 199 iPhone owners and 46 Android device owners spend at the phone. They also measured mental and physical health indicators, including levels of anxiety and depression. In addition, users reported whether they believe that too often spend time behind the phone, and whether it is a serious problem for them.
It turned out that the time spent behind the phone, in itself, had no impact on the mental health of participants. However, if the smartphone user believes that long use of the phone is harmful, the level of anxiety, stress and depression increases. If a participant thinks that he spends more time behind the screen than necessary, or he feels that he is not able to reduce this time, it is a growing concern.
Thus, the practice of digital “detoxification” has no effect, and it would be more useful for people to take steps to address the anxiety and fear associated with prolonged use of smartphones.