A recent study confirmed that smartphone users are likely to feel anxiety and stress due to their phones, specifically leading to increased facial stress; that is jaw and mouth pain, and teeth grinding. Unsurprisingly, smartphone users also experience an increase in sleep issues and fatigue, says the study, run by the Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine at TAU.
Of the 600 participants who took part in the study, there were two groups. One included smartphone users who were secular, and the other group was made up of ultra-Orthodox or Haredi members, whose phones do not have internet on them due to disapproval from their leadership, and are dubbed “kosher” phones. The study showed that 50% of people with smartphones feel stress due to their phones, while only 22% of those with “kosher” phones do. Additionally, 54% of people with the internet on their smartphones wake up during the night, as opposed to only 20% from the Haredi community.
They also found that 24% of smartphone users reported grinding their teeth during the day, while only 6% of “kosher” phone users did. In terms of jaw pain, 29% of people with smart devices suffered, while only 14% of the Haredi community did.
Dr. Pessia Friedman-Rubin, who helped conduct the study said, “We didn’t just find differences between the groups, but also clear patterns showing that the more you use your smartphone the more likely you are to hurt from jaw pain, grind your teeth, and wake in the night. We did very complex statistical work and saw if you separate out other factors, cell phone use is most likely to account for the patterns of behavior we saw.”
“We believe these symptoms are related to FOMO, fear of missing out. People are constantly using their phones because they are worried they will miss something. This creates a cycle of growing dependency on cell phones, which leads to feelings of stress and anxiety, and the feeling that someone might write something on social media and I’ll miss it and not be in the loop.”
“We are of course in favor of technological progress, but as with everything in life, the excessive use of smartphones can lead to negative symptoms. It is important that the public is aware of the consequences it has on the body and mind.”