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Keller @ Large: How Damaging Phone Addiction Can Be

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(Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Jon Keller Jon Keller
Jon Keller is WBZ-TV News' Political Analyst, and his "Keller A...
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BOSTON (CBS) – I’ve had enough feedback on our recent comments about smartphone problems to know this is something quite a few of you care about, so I’m going to keep writing about it. And there is no shortage of material to work with.

Just in the last few days, we’ve seen a couple of studies that make you wonder if we have any idea how damaging phone addiction can be.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

One report from researchers at Washington Lee University found that college freshman who did a lot of texting were more likely to have sleep problems. And part of the reason why: “Frequent text messaging is associated with more friendship-related stress.”

In other words, texting is not a good substitute for actual human contact. It increases the risk of “misunderstandings and/or unproductive interactions.”

It is, say the researchers, “a uniquely unsuitable mode of communication for coping with interpersonal stress in close relationships.”

As we said in my day, wow, what a bummer.

And that’s not all.

British researchers have charted sharply higher levels of back pain among young adults who are glued to their gadgets all the time, a phenomenon they call “iPosture.”

“Slumping and hunching over computers and hand-held devices is a contributory factor in…back pain,” they write. “Younger people are far more likely to be hunched over a device on a sofa, and would benefit from paying close attention to the basics of good posture.”

So let’s recap.

Hey, you’re messing up your relationships by texting instead of looking them in the eye!

And while we’re on the subject – sit up straight!

That concludes this lecture from the Stone Age. Now, back to your gadgets.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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