Apparently, Spending a Long Time on Your Phone Isn't That Bad for Your Mental Health

by Paolo Chua for   |  Dec 3, 2020
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Contrary to popular belief, spending your time on your phone isn't connected to poor mental health.

A new study, published in Technology, Mind, and Behavior, led by Lancaster University's Heather Shaw and Kristoffer Geye says that smartphone usage isn't a great predictor of anxiety, depression, or even stress.

The study had 199 iPhone users and 46 Android users as participants. Their smartphone usage was measured in a week, and they were asked about their mental and physical health.

Additionally, the researchers caution against digital detoxes. Instead, they advise to "address the worries and fears that have grown up around time spent using phones."

"A person’s daily smartphone pickups or screen time did not predict anxiety, depression, or stress symptoms. Additionally, those who exceeded clinical ‘cut off points’ for both general anxiety and major depressive disorder did not use their phone more than those who scored below this threshold," says lead author Heather Shaw.

Shaw adds, "It is important to consider actual device use separately from people's concerns and worries about technology. This is because the former doesn't show noteworthy relationships with mental health, whereby the latter does."

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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