Much has been written recently about the impact mobile phone usage has on our psychology and mental health.
According to researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, young people who heavily use mobile phones and computers also complain more about sleep disturbances, stress and other mental health problems. The research team conducted four separate studies aimed at investigating the correlation between computers and mobile phones, and their impact on the mental health of young adults.
The findings reveal that extreme use of mobile phones and computers may be linked to stress, sleep disorders and depressive symptoms. The researchers could not determine causation, so it may be that people with depression or sleep problems are simply more likely to reach out to others using mobile technology. Their conclusion is that intensive use of information and communication technology can have an impact on mental health among young adults.
The research reveals, for example, that heavy cell phone use is correlated with an increase in sleeping difficulties in men and an increase in depressive symptoms in both men and women. Those who find the constant accessibility via mobile phones to be stressful are most likely to report mental symptoms.
The call for an academic discipline
Florie Brizel, who is currently working on her third book, which examines what she calls Mobilology, the study of the effects of mobile phone use on behavior, community, culture, entertainment, and economics says; Mobile phones allow people to talk to the world, but they can do so much more. We must teach people how to really maximize the global linkage available to them through their mobile devices, especially if we expect them to be used for any kind of social good.
Of course, technology and humanity are not necessarily compatible. One is about an anonymous push forward into the unknown... to explore it, to develop and exploit it, which is important. The other is about paying undivided attention to the individual and the world in front of you, developing relationships, and increasing consciousness. Both are necessary. The challenge is figuring out how to use technology to enhance humanity, not degrade it.
Mobilology addresses how mobile phone use affects life in the modern world. Not only does it address the five main sectors of behavior, community, culture, entertainment, and economics and whatever else comes along. It's the first academic discipline that is inherently collaborative as well as being interdependent with other academic disciplines.