A new study on smartphones reveals that users are addictive and the more you use one, the worse it gets.
The average age of the participants in the online survey was 29. The most popularly used apps were social networking sites by 87 percent; instant-messaging apps 52 percent and 51 percent used news apps. Out of 256 participants the average user spent 3.6 hours per day on the device, 35 percent used their phones in banned areas and 13 percent were addicts.
Psychology lecturer, Dr Zaheer Hussain, who co-authored the study, found that the more you use a smartphone, the higher your risk of becoming addicted.
Narcissism is the most common and obvious sign of addiction. It means, excessive interest or admiration of oneself and one's physical appearance. An obsession with taking selfies and posting them on social media is one key indication.
'A significant positive relationship was found between narcissism and addiction to the phones, suggesting that the more narcissistic a person is, the more likely they are to be addicted to their smartphone,' he said.
The study found, moodiness, loneliness and jealousy are all key indicators of smartphone addiction, along with an obsession with physical appearance.
Dr Hussain said, "The study informs us about smartphone overuse and the impact on psychological well-being. We now use smartphones on a daily basis and for various tasks so being aware of the psychological effects is very important. There are various smartphone apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Candy Crush, as well as Skype and email that make smartphone use psychologically more attractive and can lead to addiction."
As far as relationships are concerned, 46.8 percent of participants spoke positively of improved social relations but nearly a quarter admitted their smartphones create communication issues within 'real life'.
Professor James Elander, Head of the Centre for Psychological Research at the University of Derby, said, "This study is a very timely one with much potential impact, and the findings show that users should be more aware of how they are using their smartphones and of the potential risks of excessive use."