TEXAS (KIAH) – Average time spent on mobile devices increased more than two hours a day during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to one study out of Canada. For many in lockdown during the pandemic, mobile phones were an important way to stay connected.

But what are the consequences of more screen time? A psychologist we spoke with at Baylor Scott and White said mobile phone overuse can be associated with posture, vision, and sleep problems, as well as mental health issues. They advised finding a better balance is key. 

“If you’re somebody who just kind of mindlessly opens up your phone and goes to a social media page, maybe replace that icon with something like a mindfulness app or some other productivity app so you’re at least having to do the self check of ‘Is this really how I want to be spending my time right now?’” said Kenleigh McMinn, Ph.D.

Although some people may report feeling “addicted” to their phones, the diagnostic manual used by mental health professionals does not recognize mobile phone addiction as an official diagnosis; though some are comparing it to addictions like gambling.