Scientists in Sweden found in a recent study that mobile phones are causing teens to suffer from high stress and stress related problems.  The study of 14 to 20 year olds found that the teens who make more than 15 phone calls and 15 text messages a day have significantly higher stress levels than those who use their mobile phones minimally.  Researchers say that mobile phones are causing sleep problems in adolescents, and that there is also a connection between mobile phone use and dangerous behaviors such as smoking and alcohol use. 

Are mobile phones really to blame for health problems in many teens? 

I know at that age there is plenty of social pressure to be part of a group and to not be “left out”.  With the widespread use of mobile phones by teens, this pressure is added to, and they feel the need to be available all of the time to remain “in”.  But still, I don’t think this study looks at all angles. 

I mean, I could see that ice cream sales are high on the same day that people flock to the beach, and I could say that ice cream causes people to go to the beach.  However, the truth would be that it was just a hot day, which caused people to go to buy ice cream and go to the beach. Here, I think they are missing the obvious possibility that some teens use their mobile phones more often because they lead busy lives, which also would cause stress. Also, some people have personalities that give them more stress than others, and not coincidentally, these are the same people who are anxious about their social lives and feel the need to be more social and more active. 

It is also known that high stress causes behaviors such as smoking and alcohol use, so these could easily be effects of stress rather than cell phone use.  Instead of thinking about mobile phone use as a cause of stress and behavioral problems in teens, lifestyle should be looked at as the cause of stress, or stress can looked at as a factor in determining lifestyle, which then results in the level of mobile phone use.  Either way, mobile phone use is probably more of just an effect, not a cause.

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