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Google Is Studying How Smartphones Affect Us And They Need Your Help

Smartphones have been here for a long time. They come in handy when you want to send in a quick text, drop a call or forward a mail. Since its inception, smartphones have been creeping their way into our daily lives. It takes up more of our time. Since the introduction of social media websites, a user’s average time on a smartphone has only increased. Shockingly, the average user checks their time 47 times a day!

It is a given fact that smartphones can be damaging to our mental health. The world population is over 5 billion, and out of these, 2.7 billion have a personal smartphone. 69% of the adults are using social media, while 97% of teenagers have signed up for a social account. The release and increase in usage of smartphones did not come without its problems. An increase of depression cases among adolescents rose by 52% from 2005 to 2007. The same trend was observed in adults as well. An increase of 63% in depression cases reported by adults was noticed. If you are connected to the web all the time, it can hinder your sleep, mess up your schedule and even produce problems for work and personal life. It seems the digital search platform Google has taken a step and developed Digital Wellbeing aimed at correcting our mobile lives. However, a study from the University Of Oregon followed in the steps and is advancing it further to yield better and improved results! However, they require your help.

The Digital Mental Health Center at the University of Oregon is initiating the project. The new research project is being done in partnership with Google. Both the partners are asking everyday people to take part in their research project. Why does this research project need a simple person? One might ask. The reason is that the field is vastly growing, and an array of factors affect it. Some people may think of certain aspects of smartphones as bad, and while others think it is beneficial, it can be challenging to differentiate the positive aspects from the bad ones and introducing people into the research mix can help overcome the problem.

However, in the past, researchers similar to this one did not yield any positive results. They mainly relied on self-reported surveys, omitted essential and important information, or did not acquire data from large sample sizes. To counter this very problem, Google plays a huge part. It is allowing the University of Oregon to make use of its vast tools, especially the well-being ones. Suppose you own a Fitbit; it is considered a well-being tool. Once the group acquires information from you, they can track any workout routine and information that will complement their research. If you are worried that Google will just swoop in and steal your data, then worry not, as the research will ask you to opt-in via a signup process. Data will not be used for advertising and will only be collected after the user signs themself up for the survey.

If you are interested in being a part of the survey, you can still sign up as it initiates on May 27. The rest of us can return to our typical smartphone usage.


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