...or the risks involved in addictive tech use by adolescents.
Like alcohol and cannabis (among other things), use by fully-baked (heh) adults is a different equation from
a developing mind. Pathways are formed which cannot be undone easily.
That's a pretty big assertion; do you have some peer reviewed evidence handy to support your hypothesis?
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23981147 (Summary of the below)
Or Cannabis and Alcohol?
I'm mainly interested in the cell phone argument; I'll leave cannabis and alcohol alone, since I doubt anyone is advocating we allow those things to be part of our program.
In reviewing your literature against my null hypothesis: "There is no link between cell phone usage and increased risk of developmental disorder in adolescents" I've made some general observations about each.
As a summary, I've found most of the papers you linked were some type of ethnological research that classify / categorize device users into types (light, heavy, addicted, etc.) and ask what types of physiological / psychological issues they might be experiencing (loss of sleep, headaches, etc.) however, with this type of data it is exceedingly difficult to find powerful enough data to reject the null hypothesis above.
I can show that people who use cell phones are younger than the average American, but surely the fact that they use a cell phone didn't *cause* their "youngness" right?
The same principle therefore applies to headaches. Unless I examine a sample population for the effect of cell phone screen use on the prevalence of headaches, I cannot state the cell phone was the cause of a headache.
The primary focus of my skepticism centers on the absence of cell phone addiction in the current DSM-V. I'm under no illusion that new disorders are impossible, but until a diagnosable condition exists all I hear (to be a bit facetious) are people who don't like change complaining about the cell-phone carrying youths.
Thoughts on your articles:
1: Lit review with no hypothesis or research conducted; they imply cell phone usage is problematic without testing to the contrary (which is of course, not the purpose of a lit review). Describes usage of cell phones as "abuse" and states there is "consensus about the existence of cell-phone addiction" - yet (again) cell phone addiction is not described in the DSM-V. In this way, cell phones are about as psychologically addicting as cars are to commuters who drive to work.
2: This paper describes a survey of college students asking how much they use a phone. The conclusion is that college students use their phones a lot. This hardly disproves my hypothesis.
3: I have a slight objection to the methodology of this study; it's a decent ethnographic study looking at behaviors in adolescents, but it has limitations. Specifically (from their discussion section)
-They can't draw inferences about directionality (so some might use electronics to help fall asleep)
-Their question phrasing promotes overlap in the data (daytime vs. nighttime usage)
-They couldn't rule out school-related work as the reason for electronic device usage
-Sleep measurements based on self-reports, subject to bias (especially sleep onset latency, their main measure)
-They specifically say emotional and behavioral problems were not assessed.
4: "We did not find an influence of emotional intelligence on habitual or addictive smartphone behavior, and a failure of self-regulation seems to cause a higher risk of addictive smartphone behavior." This effort (another survey) asked people how much they use smartphones. I can't find any evidence to support rejecting my original hypothesis here.
5: So the researchers catalogued (since it's a British study) usage habits among teenagers and then drew a line down a chart to describe some of those users as "problematic" according to a scale of measurement. This sole purpose of this study appears to be to confirm that British teenagers are similar to Spanish teenagers, and not to make any specific assertions about health.
6: This paper is frustrating. In their intro they cite other literature as "Evidence...regarding the negative physical and psychological consequences of its excessive use" and "equivalent to substance dependence" yet the papers cited to show this evidence use language like:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15738692
"Drawing potential predictors from the addiction literature, this study sought to predict usage and, specifically, problematic mobile phone use..." with the conclusion of the paper: a set of identified "groups that should be targeted [for] intervention" - based on what evidence?https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24876797
One citation is a proposal for including "nomophobia" (proposed name for fear of being out of cell phone contact) in DSM-V. Full text isn't available, but this paper is probably the most interesting and likely to support your assertion. In their abstract they say:
"Even though nomophobia has not been included in the DSM-V, much more attention is paid to the psychopathological effects of the new media, and the interest in this topic will increase in the near future, together with the attention and caution not to hypercodify as pathological normal behaviors." - I agree, but until we have that evidence and the condition is well understood, it'll be difficult to codify the real impact of high usage. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19228576
Other cited works by this paper are called things like "Adverse effects of excessive mobile phone use" where the research design is:
-Collect data about usage
-Collect data about physiological conditions
-Draw inferences from those two pieces of data
-Conclude: "...its impact on psychology and health should be discussed among the students to prevent the harmful effects of mobile phone use" What harmful effects? The paper did not show correlation between usage and harmful effects.
7: This survey data shows what segment of a sampled population is "addicted" to cell phones, but draws no inferences to physiological / psychological impact. In their conclusion, they describe the purpose of the paper to help drive "cell phone addiction prevention" program focus areas.
For the record, the same general fears were levied on the printing press and radio...
Not a fair comparison, both may be conversationally similar in regards to their societal
effects on information sharing and gathering, not to mention the way they may have disrupted
society, but neither provided the chemical hits that a cell phone and similar technology provides on the
scale they do, nor were they being exploited at the micro scale with the mountains of personal data
stored and exploited on everyone on the planet, making the hits harder and faster.
Hey so I agree that we as humans like dopamine hits; I mean.. I'm kind of ok with that, since it keeps us alive!
I also am unsatisfied with the level of exploitation that takes place with companies / groups who target adolescent users of internet devices.
I think on those topics we're in agreement. What I disagree with is the assertion that cell phone use is physically / emotionally damaging our cadets. I do apologize for not really being clear in my last post; I appreciate the time you took to find those articles. I like the conversation!