Smartphone Use Among University Students During COVID-19 Quarantine: An Ethical Trigger

Saadeh H, Al Fayez RQ, Al Refaei A, Shewaikani N, Khawaldah H, Abu-Shanab S and Al-Hussaini M (2021) Smartphone Use Among University Students During COVID-19 Quarantine: An Ethical Trigger. Front. Public Health 9:600134. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.600134


Extract only, kindly see the link above for the full study.

One significant lifestyle shift is the complete reliance on the internet and smart devices, like tablets, laptops, and mobiles. During the quarantine, with the necessary social/spatial distancing, the usage of these smart devices increased at an increasingly fast pace. Unfortunately, this total dependence has shown to be a form of addiction, i.e., a compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance (10). Nowadays, addiction is not only restricted to extensive substance or drug abuse but also extends to the behavioral obsession with a specific activity that disturbs people’s healthy daily lives. Recently, internet-based activities, like online gaming, chatting, and communications through the different available applications, have shown similar addiction levels to those of drugs (1113).

This is the first research that presents a large-scale study of thousands of Jordanian undergraduate students to assess the effect of COVID-19 extended home quarantine on smartphone addiction levels. This is assessed by collecting many exposures to cover the demographic, economic, and quarantine-related factors that might worsen the effect of quarantine on smartphone overuse.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Quarantine is a stressful situation with several challenges, casting its shadow over routine life. No previous study has assessed the relationship between quarantine and smartphone addiction levels during the quarantine period. Female gender, urban areas, apartment quarantine, higher income, and scientific and medical majors had higher and significant overuse scores. The SAS-SV scores are higher than previously reported scores for other countries, although they are comparable to other countries in the region (39). Whether an addiction or overuse, the high scores and prevalence reported are alarming and indicate the severity of smartphone dependence among Jordanian university students during the quarantine. A repeat questionnaire on a comparable study population with follow-up interventions is warranted.

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