Are Women More Susceptible To Smartphone Addiction?

By Bryan Le 04/17/17

A new study analyzing the smartphone usage of college students found that one gender exhibited more signs of smartphone addiction.

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Many can’t imagine modern life without a smartphone—one in five young people are addicted or “fanatic” about theirs, according to a recent study published in Information Systems Journal.

Women seem especially susceptible, suggesting that they are more affected by the underlying conditions that lead to smartphone addiction—including depression and stress.

These conditions can cause women to become obsessed with social media, texting or online shopping. One in 10 may even use their smartphone in the shower. Some can’t even resist the urge to check their phones during sex.

“Our smartphones have turned into a tool that provides short, quick, immediate satisfaction, which is very triggering,” says Professor Isaac Vaghefi. “Our neurons get fired and dopamine is being released, and over time this makes us acquire a desire for quick feedback and immediate satisfaction.”

He continues, "This process also has contributed to developing shorter attention spans and being more and more prone to boredom.”

If the smartphone addiction gets severe enough, women may experience “personal, social and workplace problems,” according to Professor Vaghefi. This could lead to depression, isolation and increased susceptibility to additional addictions.

Technology addictions are not recognized in the DSM, but Professor Vaghefi thinks that could change: “While self-identified ‘addict’ users were in the minority, I predict technology 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.”

He suggests considering professional help if you use technology to seek relief from guilt or depression, ignore things that are happening in the present to tend to digital happenings, find yourself checking your phone despite it not ringing or vibrating, or experience paranoia when your phone is not with you.

Smartphone addiction can also show physical side effects, including permanent changes to posture, vision, cramping of hands, carpal tunnel syndrome and phantom vibrations. They can even create narcissistic behaviors even in people who did not previously exhibit narcissistic behaviors. But they aren’t all bad news—they're said to be keeping teens off hard drugs and alcohol.

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter

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