Speed Reads

Science!

Study shows that cellphone addiction is 'an increasingly realistic possibility'

It's no secret that most college students spend hours using their smartphones every day. But when Baylor University researchers decided to examine how cellphone usage was affecting students, the results were surprising.

Dr. James Roberts, a marketing professor at Baylor's business school and lead author of the study, said that cellphone addiction is becoming "an increasingly realistic possibility," particularly for college students. The study, published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, found that cellphone usage could cause risks for students' academic performance.

Female college students who participated in the study reported spending an average of 10 hours on their cellphones each day, while male students reported spending eight hours a day on the devices. Sixty percent of the 164 college students surveyed thought they might be addicted to their cellphones, and some respondents even said they were "agitated" if they were away from them. Interestingly, social media apps including Pinterest and Instagram were linked to cellphone addiction, while general internet use and gaming weren't.

As for the dangers to academic habits, "cellphones may wind up being an escape mechanism" from classrooms, Roberts said in a statement. "For some, cellphones in class may provide a way to cheat." The study authors noted that cellphone use can be "both freeing and enslaving at the same time."