Cell phones are informative, fun, and great communicators. New studies show that this technology may be leading to a physiological dependency.
Sports psychologist Dr. Jarrod Spencer says, “since this technology is introduced to kids early in their lives they are becoming neurologically wired to depend on it.”
The effects of the cell phones can hinder social development and cause sleep deprivation. “At night the average teen has the cell phone in arms reach”(Spencer).
Social media battles and text fights occur between 9 pm and midnight. Staying up this late affects a person’s sleep patterns.
“The blue light in cell phone suppresses melatonin (the chemical we need to fall asleep at night). This causes them to stay up another hour or so later that they would have” (Spencer).
Also, it keeps the brain highly engaged at night so kids are becoming more and more sleep deprived.
People have to create a “psychological space and physical space between themselves and their phones in order to create an opportunity to break the dependency with the cell phone”(Spencer).
“Parents should set standards such as charging cell phones outside of the bedroom to break that trend in their kid’s life”(Spencer). “Downloading apps that can shut down phone activity at a certain time and having conversations with their kids can help stop this dependency”(Spencer).
The possible long-term effects of a phycological dependency on cell phones can be avoided if limits and standards are set.
The video of the interview with Dr. Spencer is linked below.