Being constantly glued to your phone is a serious problem, and not just on a personal level. Smartphone addicts can experience “personal, social and workplace problems” as a result of compulsively checking their phones, according to a new study, and women may be more at risk than men.

Researchers from Binghamton University-State University in New York published the new findings in Information Systems Journal. The researchers asked 182 students to report their daily smartphone usage, then classified their smartphone status as thoughtful, regular, highly engaged, fanatic or addict.

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Based on the responses, the researchers put seven percent of the subjects in the “addict” category and 12 percent in “fanatic.” They also found that women were more likely to be smartphone addicts than men. Additionally, both addicts and fanatics showed symptoms that could indicate mental health issues like depression, social anxiety and low self-esteem, according to the press release.

It’s important to note that the study didn’t prove causality between smartphone use and conditions like depression, but it does support existing research about how technology can impact our mental health.

“Our smartphones have turned into a tool that provides short, quick, immediate satisfaction, which is very triggering,” Isaac Vaghefi, assistant professor of management information systems at Binghamton said in the study’s press release. “Our neurons get fired and dopamine is being released, and over time this makes us acquire a desire for quick feedback and immediate satisfaction,” he says.

As Thrive Global explores in our Time Well Spent section, engineers know how our brain responds to technology and utilize this information when designing websites and apps, keeping us hooked and addicted in ways we don’t realize. As Vaghefi explains in the press release, if you regularly engage in habits like using technology to escape from your problems or constantly checking your smartphone when you have no real reason to, it’s time to rethink your relationship with technology.

To read more about the study click here. And to learn more about addiction by design, and how to fix it, check out the links below.

Related content:

Tech Companies Are Designing Your Life — Here’s Why You Should Care
5 Ways to Organize Your Phone to Unhijack Your Mind
How Our Phones are Stealing Our Self Worth
The Start-Up That Can Make You Less — Or More — Addicted To Your Phone

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