'Excess use of mobile can consume 10 yrs of your life'

A study by Nimhans suggests that excess usage of mobiles and other communication gadgets is causing undue stress and frustration among people.

Do you “check” your mobile phones for 50-60 times a day? Then there are every possibility that your life expectancy may be reduced by at least 10 years.

This startling revelation is part of a study conducted by Professor (Dr) Manoj Sharma of Service for Healthy Use of Technology (SHUT) Clinic, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru.

In his presentation on “Cyber addition & management” at the state-level annual Psychiatry Continuous Medical Education (CME) programme organised at Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences in Hubballi on Sunday, Prof Sharma said excess use of mobiles and other communication gadgets were adversely affecting life.

He said, the “zero-inbox syndrome,” where one has the urgency to check on each and every message received, “Phantom” vibration syndrome (an hallucination of mobile vibrating), and NoMophobia (fear of no mobile) were causing undue stress and frustration among the people.

“This in the longer run has the capacity of taking away at least 10 years of our productive life,” he said.

He also said, taking phone to beds can reduce sleep hours among youths by at least 90 minutes a day.

‘Selfitis’

Dr Sharma said, taking selfies regularly was also a form of addiction.

“You are fine if you take 0-1 selfie a day, 2-3 selfie a day is considered as a worrying factor, and more than five selfies per day is considered “selfitis,” a psychological complex, which requires medical attention and counselling,” he said.

He said that in most cases of cyber addiction, especially among adolescents and youths, the patients fell lonely and worthless in the real world. “In virtual world, people start finding appreciation and acknowledgement, which is why a majority of the youths feel ‘sucked into’ the social media world,” he said.

Porn addiction

Dr Sharma also blamed lack of sex education in school syllabus, which was forcing children aged between 13 and 17 to go in search for pornographic content on Internet.

“It is curiosity, anxiety, lack of proper resources, bad company, and lack of knowledge about resource persons on sexual issues that is forcing adolescents, especially those in 13-year age group, to get addicted to porn,” he said, and added that Nimhans had written a letter to State Education Department and CBSE to strongly consider including sex education in school curriculum.

He said that Internet gaming was also pushing youths to depression, anxiety, and stress, which in many times is resulting in self harming. The study found both rural and urban youths were found to be victims.

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