Academic journal article Education

An Investigation of the Relationship between High-School Students' Problematic Mobile Phone Use and Their Self-Esteem Levels

Academic journal article Education

An Investigation of the Relationship between High-School Students' Problematic Mobile Phone Use and Their Self-Esteem Levels

Article excerpt

Introduction

Mobile phone is seen as one of the greatest innovations both in developed and developing countries. Advancements in mobile phones enable its users not just to communicate but also to use different applications such as camera, internet, music player, games, social media etc. According to The International Telecommunication Union, at the end of 2011, there were 6 billion mobile subscriptions. This number equals to 87 percent of the world population. There is a huge increase in subscriptions of mobile phone from 4.7 billion in 2009 to 5.4 billion in 2010 (http:// mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/ latest-mobile-stats/a.). Especially, the young tend to be the most potential customers of the mobile services. In a study conducted by Martinotti et al. (2011), it was found that 91.7 % of the teenagers between 14 and 17 have their own mobile phones.

Mobile phone can be considered as one of the most commonly used mediums for a better communication in the new era (Liao & Wan, 2010) and it is also seen as the most outstanding device in the field of technology (Walsh, White, Cox & Young, 2010). With an excessive rise in smart mobile phones, the use of phones takes on a new dimension. Many findings have indicated that using only mobile phones for communication is generally common among young adults (Cotten, 2008; Walsh, White & Young, 2010). Indeed, they are more likely to use the SMS function more frequently than older people (Bianchi & Phillips, 2005). However, this should not mean that older people cannot use any functions of mobile phones.

While mobile phones are extremely attractive as a tool for communication and interpersonal interaction, there has been a significant increase in its problematic use (Bianchi & Phillips, 2005). Nowadays, a marked addiction is also observed in technological devices although they offer crucial benefits for users; therefore, a new term has emerged in the literature about using mobile phones excessively which is called technological addiction (Yen et al., 2009), which occurs when people overuse a device to obtain beneficial outcomes (Walsh, White & Young, 2010). Addiction is defined as an abnormal dependence on objects or activities (Park, 2005; Walsh, White & Young, 2007) despite their negative outcomes (Walsh, White & Young, 2008). Modernity, in a sociological perspective, requires new acquaintances to make people social beings; however, mobile phone use strictly narrows people's close environment and thus prevents them from having new and different social environments (Geser, 2006). For example, in a study, it was found that Koreans use mobile phone not for meeting new people but for keeping in touch with already-known people, and the same problem can also be noticed among people in Italy (Ko, et al., 2011; Geser, 2006). Therefore, excluding oneself from the social surrounding or unwillingness to be included in it is one of the signs of addictive behavior. Other consequences of addictive behaviors are also possible for mobile phone addiction: losing control (as opposed to unwillingness that causes someone to overindulge in activities) and salience (desire to be dominant in activities) (Walsh, White & Young, 2007). In concordance with these, for example, in a study carried out among Korean college students, they reported that they tend to be anxious if they do not use mobile phones in a day (Park, 2005), which can be considered as the initial point of technological addiction.

As mentioned above, mobile phone use has corruptive results such as loneliness, anxiety due to lack of it, psychiatric and sleeping disorders (Liao & Wan, 2010; Thomee, Harenstam & Hagberg, 2011), depression (Thomee, Harenstam & Hagberg, 2011) and physical symptoms such as headache (Augner & Hacker, 2010; Liao & Wan, 2010; Thomee, Harenstam & Hagberg, 2011), earache (Thomee, Harenstam & Hagberg, 2011). For instance, when someone does not call a mobile phone user, s/he may probably feel lonely or when friends do not call back, s/he tends to feel nervous. …

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