Weird study of 21 people says that cell phones cause depression and poor concentration


A very thorough study (of 21 people) in Sweden found that people who use their cell phones excessively can be prone to sleep problems, fatigue, and stress, which can lead to depression and concentration issues. Hey, there’s a cat near me! I hate cats. I hate me! Where was I? Oh yeah, so Sweden. What’s up with Sweden? It’s like, we get it! You have great healthcare! Oh no, wait, the brain-phone thing.

The study examined 21 people between the ages of 14 and 20. One group made less than five calls and sent less than five text messages per day while the other group made more than 15 calls and sent more than 15 text messages per day. The second group apparently were more restless, consumed more caffeinated beverages, led careless lifestyles, and — surprise, surprise — had difficulty falling asleep, which caused them to be stressed out and fatigued all the time. Also, only a third of those people ate breakfast.

This study is just plain weird. I find it to be kind of a stretch tying this sort of behavior to mobile phone use when it’s possible that fidgety, restless people use their phones more because it gives them something to do.

Indeed, Sanjeev Kothare, M.D, sleep specialist at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital in Boston said about the study,

"Intuitively, it makes sense," he said, but it has several limitations, including an inability to tell which came first — disturbed sleep and a busy lifestyle or heavy cell phone use.

Dr. Kothare said some people are "on all the time" and are likely both to have disturbed sleep and to be using cell phones and computers heavily as "co-morbid accompaniments."

The study would have been more robust, he said, if the experimenters had simply "taken away the cell phones and repeated the study in a week’s time."