The addiction to smartphones close to that to opioids

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Social networks and the smartphone take an increasingly important place in everyday life. Facilitators of communications, they are also at the heart of a new form of addiction and the development of depression.

The excessive use of the smartphone creates a state close to opioid addiction, favoring solitude, feeling of isolation, depression, anxiety, according to the results of a study published in the American journal NeuroRegulation.

The researchers conducted a study with 135 students and observed their behavior with their mobile phone.  The researchers noticed that the participants use their smartphones or the various social networks out there or the Internet as a whole throughout the day; when eating, talking to friends, at school, at church,  when watching a movie, during the day or at night, the smartphone is omnipresent. Little space is left to disconnect.

The study revealed that students who were addicted to their phone were the ones who most often felt isolated, alone, depressed and anxious. These feelings would be caused by a lack of body language and interaction with others.

“Smartphone addiction is starting to form neurological connections in the brain in the same way as people taking morphine to relieve pain,” says Eric Peper, co-author of the study.

For researchers Eric Peper and Richard Harvey, “Digital addiction is not our fault, it’s actually the result of the technology industry’s desire to increase corporate profits. More eyeballs on the smartphones, more clicks and more money”.

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As a result, they recommend users to stop push notifications, reply to emails and social networks only during a specific time slot and always read, dine watch a movie, work without a cell phone.

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Carl Frantz

Polyglot, humanitarian, Carl was born in Germany but raised in the USA. He writes mostly on tech, science and culture.