If you are a student like myself, become more self-aware. Note the moments when you pick up your smart phone right when you wake up or when you scroll through Instagram right before you go to bed. Think about how you feel looking through hundreds of posts a day. Pay attention to the way you feel during school and any symptoms of anxiety and depression you might be experiencing throughout. Think about how phone usage and mental health are all intertwined. Some strategies to help relieve you of your cellphone-inflicted mental health issues include turning off app notifications or the phone in general, setting time and use limits, mindfulness training, or cognitive behavioral therapy (2). Cell phones possess immense influence over the minds and bodies of students across the country. It is time for students and the institutions that support them to take action- if not for the sake of the present, at least for the sake of future.
(1) Boumosleh, J. M., & Jaalouk, D. (2017). Depression, anxiety, and smartphone addiction in university students- A cross sectional study. PLoS ONE, 12(8).
(2) Cain, J. (2018). It’s Time to Confront Student Mental Health Issues Associated with Smartphones and Social Media. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 82(7), 738–741.
(3) Demi̇rci̇, K., Akgönül, M., & Akpinar, A. (2015). Relationship of smartphone use severity with sleep quality, depression, and anxiety in university students. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 4(2), 85–92. https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.4.2015.010
(4) Naslund, J. A., Grande, S. W., Aschbrenner, K. A., & Elwyn, G. (2014). Naturally Occurring Peer Support through Social Media: The Experiences of Individuals with Severe Mental Illness Using YouTube. PLoS ONE, 9(10), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0110171