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Technology, Society

Are Smartphones Making Young Singaporeans Ill?

Just like the impact of television in the 1960s and 70s, much is being written these days about the potential dangers of smartphones and their impact on society. A recent international study reported in the BMC Psychiatry Journal suggests that 23% of young people have a ‘dysfunctional relationship with their smartphone’.

Here in Singapore, 33% of people aged 15+ believe there is a strong connection between smartphone dependency and the growth of mental health issues in Singapore. That perceived connection is even stronger amongst those who say they spend more than 8 hours a day on their phone (41%).

The potential seriousness of this as an issue is highlighted by our finding that 36% of Singaporeans claim to have had some form of mental health incident in the last 3 months. However, this claim rises to 64% amongst Singaporeans under 25 years old. In addition, under 25s also reported the following:

  • Nearly half (49%) say they have experienced stress in the last 3 months;
  • 40% said they have had feelings of loneliness;
  • 32% said they have had anxiety; and
  • 28% said they have suffered from an inability to sleep.

The trigger factors for younger people do vary.

Blackbox notes that while our results are not part of a properly peer tested clinical study, the findings are of real concern and are worthy of further investigation.