Wednesday October 16, 2019

Smartphone Addiction Comes First, Depression Later: Study

When people feel stressed, they should use other healthy approaches to cope, like talking to a close friend to get support or doing some exercises or meditation, the researchers suggested

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Students, Smartphones, Obesity
Over 74 per cent of people type with two thumbs, and the speed increase it offers is very large. Pixabay

In a bid to rest the debate on what comes first — smartphone addiction or depression — a new study has found that young people who are hooked on to their smartphones may be at an increased risk of depression and loneliness.

A growing body of research has identified a link between smartphone dependency and symptoms of depression and loneliness.

However, it’s been unclear whether reliance on smartphones precedes those symptoms, or whether the reverse is true — that depressed or lonely people are more likely to become dependent on their phones.

In a study of 346 participants, ages 18-20, researcher Matthew Lapierre and his collaborators from University of Arizona found that smartphone dependency predicts higher reports of depressive symptoms and loneliness, rather than the other way around.

“The main takeaway is that smartphone dependency directly predicts later depressive symptoms,” said Lapierre, assistant professor in the department of communication.

“There’s an issue where people are entirely too reliant on the device, in terms of feeling anxious if they don’t have it accessible, and they’re using it to the detriment of their day-to-day life.”

In the study, which will be published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, Lapierre and his co-authors focus on smartphone dependency rather than on general smartphone use, which can actually provide benefits.

suicide, world, deaths, study
Depression is among the leading causes of disability in the U.S. and is being closely monitored by health authorities amid rising suicides nationwide. Pixabay

Understanding the direction of the relationship between smartphone dependency and poor psychological outcomes is critical for knowing how best to address the problem, said Pengfei Zhao who co-authored the study.

“If depression and loneliness lead to smartphone dependency, we could reduce dependency by adjusting people’s mental health,” Zhao said.

“But if smartphone dependency (precedes depression and loneliness), which is what we found, we can reduce smartphone dependency to maintain or improve wellbeing.”

The researchers measured smartphone dependency by asking study participants to use a four-point scale to rate a series of statements, such as “I panic when I cannot use my smartphone.”

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The study focused on older adolescents, a population researchers say is important because they largely grew up with smartphones and they are at an age and transitional stage in life where they are vulnerable to poor mental health outcomes, such as depression.

“It might be easier for late adolescents to become dependent on smartphones, and smartphones may have a bigger negative influence on them because they are already very vulnerable to depression or loneliness,” Zhao noted.

When people feel stressed, they should use other healthy approaches to cope, like talking to a close friend to get support or doing some exercises or meditation, the researchers suggested. (IANS)

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Realme Aims to Become Top Online Smartphone Player in India During Festive Quarter

According to the firm, it is also investing in offers worth Rs 300 crore for its prospective buyers in the upcoming festive seaon

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Realme, Online, Smartphone
Surface-mount technology or SMT is a method for producing electronic circuits wherein the components are mounted or placed directly onto the surface of printed circuit boards (PCBs). Pixabay

Armed with a quad camera-system smartphone in every price segment along with an investment worth Rs 300 crore for its surface-mount technology (SMT) lines, Chinese handset maker Realme aims to become the top online smartphone player in India during the festive quarter, the company’s India CEO said on Friday.

“We have just invested Rs 300 crore towards eight new SMT lines this quarter for Diwali season to make sure that this festive season people keep getting unprecedented supply of stocks,” Madhav Sheth, Chief Executive Officer, Realme India, told IANS.

Surface-mount technology or SMT is a method for producing electronic circuits wherein the components are mounted or placed directly onto the surface of printed circuit boards (PCBs).

According to the firm, it is also investing in offers worth Rs 300 crore for its prospective buyers in the upcoming festive seaon.

Realme, Online, Smartphone
Armed with a quad camera-system smartphone in every price segment along with an investment worth Rs 300 crore for its surface-mount technology (SMT) lines, Chinese handset maker Realme aims. Pixabay

“We are also the only brand offering quad-cam phones under Rs 20,000 in India,” noted Sheth.

Realme currently shares a facility with its parent company OPPO in Greater Noida and will continue to share the same facility for manufacturing its upcoming portfolio of handsets.

“With the new SMT lines, our current manufacturing capacity which is 1-1.2 million devices a month will more than triple to 3-3.5 million,” Sheth told IANS.

Almost two-third of the online sales during this festive season is likely to be driven by Realme and Xiaomi, according to Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research.

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“They have a good momentum which is likely to continue. Last year’s festive season was a record quarter for India. This year too, we’re anticipating that the online channel would do well in the festive season. Brands that are doing well online like Realme would drive the online festive sales,” Pathak told IANS.

The Shenzhen headquartered handset maker became the second-largest player in the online segment, driven by a strong online push and good performance of its affordable series — Realme C2, Realme 3, and Realme 3 Pro, according to Counterpoint Research’s Q2 report.

“They are covering the price tiers fast… The online segment is growing so I think they are at the right place at the right time,” noted Pathak.

The handset maker currently has a retail presence in cities including Mumbai, Hyderabad, Surat, Ludhiana and Chandigarh, and is also expanding footprint to meet the growing demands of customers.

Realme, Online, Smartphone
We have just invested Rs 300 crore towards eight new SMT lines this quarter for Diwali season to make sure that this festive season people keep getting unprecedented supply of stocks. Pixabay

The company launched its first smartphone with 64MP camera — the Realme XT — in India last week.

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The phone comes in three storage variants — 4GB+64GB, 6GB+64GB, and 8GB+128GB — priced at Rs 15,999, Rs 16,999 and Rs 18,999, respectively. (IANS)