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.