Smartphones have not only replacing cell phones, but it also have replaced computers and many other technology devices. Their mobility and size makes them more favourable. As the use of smartphones has widely spreading, access to the Internet has also increased. Smartphone offers their users in many ways like making calls, send emails, setting an appointment and many more. Not just that, the social networks (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) also gives their user some sort of addiction towards smartphone.
According to the Statistical Yearbook of Netherlands 2014, mobile internet use via smartphones reached almost 60% by 2013, which was an increase from approximately 20% in 2010 (Statistics Netherland, The Hague/Heerlen 2014). Nowadays, it is very difficult for us to be far from our smartphones. Every morning when we wake up, the first thing that we will check on is our smartphones. . In a survey conducted in 2014, 46% who own smartphones highlighted that their smartphone was something that they could not live without’ (Pew Research Center 2015).
Even though smartphone brings so many functional features for its user, they can also be problematic to their user health if they are used in excessive manners. A study in 2005 revealed that people who use mobile phone excessively will experience health problems (e.g. headaches, fatigue, impaired concentration, insomnia, and hearing problems). It was also reported that some problems regarding personality such as, extraversion, low self-esteem, higher self-monitoring and higher approval motivation, were more frequently seen in people who suffer from mobile phone addiction (Bianchi and Phillips 2005).
Next, smartphone addiction also will cause some psychological problems such as social anxiety, phobias, and feelings of loneliness, can make individuals vulnerable to excessive use of cyber technology devices, including smartphones.
People with social anxiety are afraid of being negatively judged and evaluated by people. So, the individuals with psychosocial problems such as social phobia and loneliness would prefer other methods of communication, particularly via mobile technological devices, rather than face-to-face communication because this type of communication can cause less anxiety. In addition, the social functioning in an individual’s life will be affected. This is due to lack of interaction and social skills. Person who experienced or have social anxiety tend to avoid to interact with people as they are afraid of being judged either positively or negatively. In a way, this problem can indirectly affect social functioning.
Smartphone addiction can cause loneliness which is known as a complex and unpleasant emotional to isolation. It includes the anxious feelings of being lack of communication and connection with other beings. Due to these problems, it also can indirectly affect the social functioning as they are not be able to fulfill their role and the individual’s interactions the environments as work, social activities and relationships with partners and family.