The new gen is addicted to smartphones and one in four children and young people have a troubling relation with their devices. Scientists have discovered that these youngsters exhibit 'problematic smartphone usage' in a way that is consistent with a behavioural addiction.
The study by researchers at King's College London reveals that people become "panicky" or "upset" when they are denied easy access to their phones. In fact, the report also warns of "serious consequences" for mental health due to such addictions.
In the investigation into "problematic smartphone usage", 41 studies which involved 42,000 young people were conducted and published in BMC Psychiatry. As per the study, it was revealed that 23% of them exhibited behavior in sync with addiction. And this addiction can lead to several other complications, such as, anxiety, stress, lack of sleep and reduced achievement in school.
"Smartphones are here to stay and there is a need to understand the prevalence of problematic smartphone usage," says one of the report's authors, Nicola Kalk, from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King's College London.
Co-author Samantha Sohn warned that addictions "can have serious consequences on mental health and day-to-day functioning, so there is a need for further investigation into problematic smartphone usage".