Stress and anxiety caused by smartphone use revealed in new TAU study

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An excessive amount of time spent on social media is also likely to cause teeth-grinding and facial muscle pain.

Close up of a man using mobile smart phone (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Close up of a man using mobile smart phone

(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Tel Aviv University’s Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine carried out a new study claiming that the excessive time spent on social media or on mobile phones leads to an increased chance of pain in jaw and mouth-muscles, teeth-grinding, sleep problems, fatigue and drowsiness during the day.

About 600 participants participated in the study which included secular Jews (mostly smartphone users) and a group of ultra-Orthodox Israelis (those who use a phone without an internet connection).

The participants were asked about feelings of stress and tension throughout the day, a tendency to wake up at night, a need to be available to the cell phone, teeth-grinding and jaw pain.

Studies found that 54% of smartphone users wake up in the middle of the night, compared with 20% from the ultra-Orthodox population.

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In addition, half of the secular respondents (50%) feel a moderate to high level of stress due to the cell phone, compared to only 22% among the ultra-Orthodox.

Dr. Pessia Friedman-Rubin and Prof. Ilana Eli, who helped conduct the study, explained that “In today’s day and age people live with a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) and so they want to stay constantly updated and know ‘what’s new’ every moment. This need naturally creates a growing dependence on cell phones, which leads to feelings of stress and anxiety – ‘someone might write something on social media, and I’ll miss it and not be in the loop.’”

Other reports confirm that a “a mental health pandemic of depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress and even suicide” are among side effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman contributed to this report. 

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