London - If you are constantly on your cellphone, most onlookers may think you have lots of friends and a busy social life.
However, those attached to the phone are likely to be less happy than those who can resist a ring or a message alert, says a study.
Avid cellphone users also suffer from higher anxiety, while students see their class work suffer and get lower marks than those who are able to switch off.
Researchers studied more than 500 students to assess their daily phone usage and gauge how it affected their outlook on life.
They found that far from making people feel more connected to friends, cellphones only heightened their anxiety as many felt obligated to keep in constant touch.
Others said they had trouble disconnecting from social media sites such as Facebook.
The findings by scientists Jacob Barkley, Aryn Karpinski and Andrew Lepp are in stark contrast to those of previous studies that concluded that cellphones improved social interaction and helped reduce feelings of isolation.
The study by the team at Kent University in Ohio found that constant cellphone use was linked to greater stress.
One student said: “The social network sometimes just makes me feel a little bit tied to my phone.
“It makes me feel like I have another obligation in my life.”
Another student complained that having a cellphone meant that he could be contacted at any time.
In their analysis, the researchers used a clinical measure of anxiety and of each student’s level of satisfaction with their own life.
Researcher Lepp said: “There is no ‘me’ time or solitude left in some of these students’ lives.
“I think mental health requires a bit of personal alone time to reflect, look inward, process life’s events, and just recover from daily stressors.”
Those taking part in the study ranged in age from 18 to 22.
They allowed the study team to access their exam results, known in the US as a grade point average, from university records.
“A few of the students we interviewed reported sending texts constantly throughout the day, from morning to night,” Lepp said.
“That in itself might be stressful.” – Daily Mail