So much has been said about smartphone usage in modern times. This ranges from some who say that they are destroying our brain to others who see they benefit our cognition by outsourcing cognitive heavy tasks like remembering lists of phone numbers – thereby freeing up memory storage for other stuff.
A bunch of research does point to there being connections between smartphone usage and a decrease in wellbeing and this is what researchers at Ruhr-University Bochum wanted to know more about.
They recruited 619 people and they were randomly assigned to three groups.
- One group abstained from any smartphone usage for 7 days.
- The second group reduced their smartphone usage by one hour per day.
- The third group carried on as usual.
The then followed up one month and four months later checking with continued smartphone usage and health and wellbeing questions also. What did they find?
Those who reduced smartphone usage had better health and well-being, including external measures such as how much they exercised or smoked. This effect could be measured after four months. However, what was interesting was that the group that reduced smartphone usage rather than abstained showed the largest and most stable results.
So, it appears that there is a sweet spot and reducing smartphone usage only, is the best strategy for higher health and well-being!
Julia Brailovskaia, Jasmin Delveaux, Julia John, Vanessa Wicker, Alina Noveski, Seokyoung Kim, Holger Schillack, Jürgen Margraf.
Finding the “sweet spot” of smartphone use: Reduction or abstinence to increase well-being and healthy lifestyle?! An experimental intervention study..
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 2022
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