What do we use three to five hours a day, look at every few minutes, especially affect adolescents, and whose use has increased with the pandemic? If you don’t know the answer, you must have been confined for too long. Although the academic literature still strives to limit and measure this problem, the excessive use of smart phones is an unquestionable reality. And even more so in young people. To tackle it “before it appears”, the mobile application YOUNGMOB is under development.
Paula Torrico, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Burgos, belongs to the international and interdisciplinary group that has proposed to attack from the same channel where the problem is generated. The idea is to offer a tool adapted to families and social agents, as well as to those most affected: adolescents (from 10 to 15 years old).
The Doctor in Marketing and Market Research presented the project this Friday at the closing of the II Conference on University Innovation InnovaUDIMA with Educational Technology (JIUTE) at the Universidad a Distancia de Madrid, UDIMA.
The app is part of an initiative within the framework of the Erasmus+ program between Spain, Portugal, Italy and Slovenia, with the participation of experts and teachers from the four countries. Through interviews with professionals in the fields of addiction, psychology and technology, and teachers from different schools, the research has found, among other things, that there is a lack of consensus when it comes to defining and measuring this addiction that is fed to children.
But it also shows that both pillars coincide in seeing the family as one of the major causes, and social and emotional problems in young people as the results of this problem. The WHO still does not collect as “behavioral addiction”, but could be summarized as “excessive use of smartphones in a way difficult to control, and whose influence extends negatively to other parts of life,” cites Torrico.