Student’s phone study touches national nerve

Worcester News: Student’s phone study touches national nerve Student’s phone study touches national nerve

A UNIVERSITY student has found himself at the centre of a media storm after his research into smartphones caused a stir.

Richard Balding’s study of the link between smartphones and stress featured prominently in several national newspapers after he submitted his paper to the British Psychological Society.

The University of Worcester student found people who checked their smartphones for e-mails or messages felt more stressed as a result.

He also found users who did not receive messages also felt stressed and some felt phantom vibrations – imagining they had texts – because they were so intent on waiting for them.

Mr Balding, who has just completed a masters degree in occupational psychology, said: “I found the more individuals checked their phones, the stress they had increased.

“They felt that the more they checked their phones the more stress they were being put under.

“They even felt phantom vibrations when they think they are getting messages but in fact they are just expecting a message.

”If people are not getting messages it affects their stress levels too.

“It’s just being constantly connected to everything.

“You are just unable to switch off.

“We concluded that people should have a break from their smartphones where possible.

“Organisations should limit e-mails going to their employees out of the workplace and from a personal point of view individuals should try not to look at Facebook and Twitter throughout the day.”

Mr Balding, who spoke about his dissertation at the society’s occupational psychology conference in Chester yesterday, said he was surprised but pleased at how much interest his research had generated.

He said: “I knew it was an interesting area but I didn’t expect what has happened.”

Mr Balding, from Stafford, is now looking for work or research posts within the occupational psychology field.

• For a stress-free Facebook experience like our page here and for trouble-free Twittering follow the Worcester News here.

Comments (5)

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11:10am Fri 13 Jan 12

Sourberry says...

I use Twitter to release stress so my Android phone is quite good in that way. In fact, I bought a smart phone specifically so I could have a nice Twitter app in my pocket and not have to go on the computer to tweet and chat to my friends. Having a smartphone also means I can "text" my family who live 5,000 miles away for free. Facebook stresses me out a bit but I don't tend to check that as often.
I use Twitter to release stress so my Android phone is quite good in that way. In fact, I bought a smart phone specifically so I could have a nice Twitter app in my pocket and not have to go on the computer to tweet and chat to my friends. Having a smartphone also means I can "text" my family who live 5,000 miles away for free. Facebook stresses me out a bit but I don't tend to check that as often. Sourberry
  • Score: 0

11:53am Fri 13 Jan 12

mauro balbino says...

Phantom vibrations... so true!
I am reaccessing the way I use my phone thanks to Mr Balding and his research.
Phantom vibrations... so true! I am reaccessing the way I use my phone thanks to Mr Balding and his research. mauro balbino
  • Score: 0

1:30pm Fri 13 Jan 12

PaulMeUnder says...

I am getting to a point where going out without my phone is like going outside naked! I get nervous when its not in my line of sight! #sosad
I am getting to a point where going out without my phone is like going outside naked! I get nervous when its not in my line of sight! #sosad PaulMeUnder
  • Score: 0

3:15pm Fri 13 Jan 12

catcostume says...

I'll be reading more about this. I felt my phone go off about 4 times yesterday when it didn't. I swear, I felt it going off in my pocket. There was nothing.
I'll be reading more about this. I felt my phone go off about 4 times yesterday when it didn't. I swear, I felt it going off in my pocket. There was nothing. catcostume
  • Score: 0

4:34pm Sun 15 Jan 12

The answer is 42 says...

I'm getting stressed by all these comments on articles on this website . . . . . oh I know, I'll look at a better website, or I could just turn my computer off!!!!
I'm getting stressed by all these comments on articles on this website . . . . . oh I know, I'll look at a better website, or I could just turn my computer off!!!! The answer is 42
  • Score: 0
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