Ever since smartphones became a de facto communication medium in our lives, studies have been conducted to find out whether or not extended use of the devices is healthy. From a general standpoint, it's easy to understand how these phones can clutter our lives and leave folks occasionally ignoring everyone around them, but conversely, there's obviously myriad ways in which these devices can enhance our lives.
In a recent study, there's proof of the pros and cons, and we're warned to consider the risks and help negate them. This particular study took a look at how families interacted with each other when smartphones are in use, and the results are not too good where stress is concerned.
Some parents admitted that simply by using their phone throughout the day while at home, it increased their level of stress. Their phone might not be showing them something important, but the mere feeling of being glued to a device and connected with any number of issues constantly, can add anxiety and create a constant level of stress.
Case in point: multiple parents admitted that their stress increases when their child disrupts their device usage. In some cases, children had to resort to acting out just to get a parent's attention. This could create a frustrating situation for both parent and child, needlessly. Our phones can affect our emotions and make even simple situations feel tense.
Despite the issues, some parents have said that a phone can help alleviate everyday hassles, as well. One mother says that having a phone is like an "escape," although she concedes that it might not be the healthiest type of escapism.
Ultimately, Dr. Jenny Radesky, who lead the study, encouraged families to consider establishing rules, either by disallowing phones or tablets to be used during certain periods of the day, or by disallowing them to be used in certain rooms entirely. If you're having trouble setting these boundaries, another thing you can do is monitor your own time with your smartphone throughout the day. When you know how much time you spend on it, you may find yourself compelled enough to make other healthier changes for the better.