According to a recent study conducted by a research team of psychologists at the University of Worcester, smartphones such as the iPhone and Blackberry which provide immediate access to e-mails, social networking sites as well as texts and phone calls can cause anxiety and withdrawal symptoms when the user does not receive any messages.
The research study surveyed 100 smartphone owners participants were asked to complete a questionnaire and a psychometric stress test.
The results of the study revealed that many smartphone users felt unhappy, stressed and anxious when their phones were inactive. Additionally many users reported feeling ‘phantom vibrations’ on a regular basis, from which they were thought they had received a text, email or phone call when in fact they hadn’t.
Other research has suggested that the ever expanding uses of a smartphone can lead to underachievement if they were suddenly unavailable. Research at the University of Queensland has suggested that people are not learning critical skills and are instead relying solely on applications and technologies provided by smartphones.
Though smartphones were introduced to improve work efficiency and enhance day to day living, it could be argued that their introduction instigated a detachment from authentic living in exchange for a mindless virtual reality.