Study: Smartphone addiction a problem

Jan. 12, 2012 at 12:16 PM
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CHESTER, England, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Some people are so addicted to their smartphones they hear "phantom vibrations" because they are desperate to receive new messages, a British study has found.

Smartphone addicts become obsessive about checking their e-mail accounts and social networking sites to the point of raising their stress levels, a conference of the British Psychological Society's Division of Occupational Psychology heard Thursday.

Researchers say some users are so hooked on their devices they even begin to experience "phantom" vibrations, mistakenly believing their phone is buzzing in their pocket or purse, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Many smartphone users acquire the devices to help them keep on top of their work, researchers found, but the help to the user's workload was outweighed by pressure to stay up to date with messages, e-mails and social networking sites.

Richard Balding of the University of Worcester, who led the research, said employers should consider the added stress a smartphone could put on workers.

"Organizations will not flourish if their employees are stressed, irrespective of the source of stress," he said, "so it is in their interest to encourage their employees to switch their phones off, cut the number of work e-mails sent out of hours, and reduce people's temptation to check their devices."

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