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Letters: Addiction to smartphones is a public health problem

Addiction to smartphones is a public health problem

It has been established that abuse of opioids has been recognized as a public health problem. Society is currently making headway to stem this epidemic.

If opioid abuse is considered a health issue, than should we pay equal attention to the abuse of smartphones, especially for young people and adolescents.

Much has been written on this topic. Several studies suggest that preoccupation with the smartphone affects our thoughts, emotions and behavior. It also decreases our concentration, lowers problem-solving skills and creates depression. Most people do not go an hour without checking their phones.

People check their phones before going to bed, the middle of the night and the first thing in the morning. On average, we touch, swipe or tap our phones about 3,000 times a day. This becomes an addictive behavior that negatively impacts our ability to focus on more important parts of our lives.

The abuse of smartphones has turned into a compulsion and in many cases a full-pledge addiction. It is the impulse to visit Facebook, text a few lines or tweet for few minutes, only to find ourselves tapping or scrolling an hour later. The creators of this medium were aware of this from the beginning.

Yet the employees for Google, Apple and other tech giants send their children to schools where there are no smartphones, iPads or screens. Some people can find ways to reduce the smartphone addiction.

But if the problem is as serious as many people believe, then more effort should be directed to find solutions to curb it.

Opioid abuse is a serious problem that kills thousands of people. However, in the long run, can the smartphone addiction prove to be as serious a health issue affecting millions of Americans?

W. John Kozinski

West Seneca

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