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A new study has warned that those people who use smartphones too much may develop Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) -like symptoms even if they are not diagonised with the disorder.

Kostadin Kushlev from University of Virginia, US said “With the internet in their pockets, people today are beseiged with notification- be it email, SMS, news apps or social media – wherever they go. So as to better understand how this constant influx of notification effect our minds we did some research.”

Kushlev said, after doing some research they found out as many as 95% of people have used their smartphone during social gathrings and 7 out of every 10 people have used their smartphones while working. He added people who uses smartphones spends nearly 2 hours everyday using their phones.

They designed a 2 week experimental study and found out that when students kept their phones on ring or vibrate mode they showed more signs of hyperactivity and inattention than when they kept their phones on silent mode. Kuslev said “We found the first experimental affirmation that smartphone interruptions can cause higher amount of hyperactivity and inattention – symptoms of ADHD”

During their study , Kushlev and his colleagues studied 221 students from University of British Colombia and assigned them to maximise their phone interruption by keeping the phones within easy reach and keeping the alerts on during the first week of study. During second week they asked the participants to minimise phone interruption by keeping their phones away and turning the alerts off and at the third week the participants were asked to complete questionnaires assessing hyperactivity and inattention.

They found out that the participants experienced higher levels of hyperactivity and inattention during the first week when their alerts were on as compared to the second week. The result suggested that even those people who have not been diagnosed with ADHD may experience some of the symptoms of the disorder’s like distraction, having problem sitting still, difficulty in focusing, restlessness and difficulty doing quiet task.

Kushlev said “Smartphones may contribute to these symptoms by serving as a quick and easy source of distraction.”

He further said “Our findings suggest that our constant digital stimulation may be contributing tremendously problematic deficit of attention in modern society.”

He added “More importantly people can reduce their chance of being hyperactive and inattentive simply by keeping their smartphones on silent or keeping them out of easy reach.”


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