Carlos, you’d said “Jeff, I’ve been observing your reports on smartphone usage and deaths for some time now and have yet to see a demonstration of causation.”
This is from May, 2017. It was posted on the previous forum.
Smart Phones as Drivers of Suicide
Of the ten lowest smart phone penetration nations, four are ranked “very low” in terms of suicide rate, two are ranked “low”, two are ranked “medium”, and two are ranked “high.” While, of the ten highest smart phone penetration nations, none are ranked “very low” in terms of suicide rate, four are ranked “low”, five are ranked “medium”, and one is ranked “high”.
And so, thus, four of the low-smart–phone–penetration nations have “very low” suicide rates, while, in the high-penetration nations, there are zero “very low’s”.
This shows a very strong correlation between smart phone penetration and higher suicide rates.
There are two “medium’s” and two “high’s” in the low-penetration nations, in terms of suicide rates. While there are five “medium’s” and one “high” in the high penetration nations.
This also shows a very strong correlation between smart phone penetration and suicide rates.
Smart phone penetration in South Korea is the highest on the planet, at 88%. The nation is number three on the globe in terms of suicide rate, in the “High” category, at 29.34. The suicide rate in South Korea has tripled in 25 years. Death by intentional self-harm increased 122.0% for men and 217.4% for women in South Korea since 1990. Suicide is the leading cause of death among South Korean teens.
A South Korean study of 1,601 middle and high school students showed a correlation between smartphone addiction and suicidal thoughts. Addiction to the devices had a greater influence on suicidal thoughts than other factors such as gender, family or standard of living.
The study showed female students, students with a single parent or without parents and students with low standard of living had more suicidal thoughts, but such thoughts were more frequent for students addicted to smartphones. Smartphone addiction also had a negative correlation with self control. (Phone) Addicted students said they had difficulty quitting bad habits, that they often failed to complete tasks in a given time and that they were lazy. Smartphone-addicted students were also more likely to have trouble controlling themselves, putting them at greater risk of suicidal thoughts.
Australia has the second-highest smart phone penetration on Earth, at 77%. There has been a 26 per cent increase in the suicide rates among women there in the last five years. The overall suicide rate in Australia increased 10% from 2013 to 2014, and rose 5% from 2014 to 2015. And so rose 15% overall from 2013 to 2015. The rate rose 47% for teenage girls in Australia from 2014 to 2015 – rose fifty percent, in one year.
The suicide rate in Australia for teenage girls rose at a rate 840% higher than the rate for the population overall from 2014 to 2015. The media in Australia says only “We don’t know why this is occurring.”
The United States has the fourth-highest smart phone penetration, at 71%. The overall suicide rate in the U.S. rose by 24 percent from 1999 to 2014, with the pace of the increase greater after 2006. The suicide rate for young females in the U.S. rose 54% from 2007-2013, to the highest level since 1981, when such tracking began. And the suicide rate for white women ages 45 to 64 rose 80% during that time period. The suicide rate for girls and young women in the U.S. continues to rise at a pace far faster than for young males.
A 2012 article in the American Journal of Public Health noted that more people using the internet was positively correlated to a higher general population suicide rate. Another study in the U.S. found that Problematic Cell Phone Use was associated with suicidal tendencies among all groups of adolescents, with suicidal ideation increased by 11.74% and suicide attempts increased by 28% among problematic cell phone users, over those not so afflicted.
One story documenting the fact that suicide is now a leading cause of death for Nebraska teenagers noted that a new study had found that Internet use was among the top contributing risk factors.
In Minnesota, the suicide rate increased 6% in 2015, to the highest levels ever recorded. The suicide rate among US veterans has dramatically increased – by 32% – since 2001.
In terms of what’s driving the rise, an article from a website called “the Thinking Housewife” spoke of a “puzzling” rise in white suicide, while another media account called the rise “startling“, and another called it a “mystery“, and another said “experts don’t know why“. Officials in Utah are “unsure” why the youth suicide rate has nearly tripled there since 2007.
In terms of suicide, Spain ranks 121st in the world, with a ranking of “low”. However, in 2016, suicide rates in Spain reached record highs. The media there attributes the sudden increase to the highest suicide levels ever recorded in Spain to “economic crisis“, “European austerity” and “harsh spending cuts.”
Japan’s suicide rate has been declining steadily since 2012, and dropped 6.4% from 2014 to 2015. In 2016, suicides in Japan dropped below 25,000 for the first time there in almost twenty years.
Russia, where we recently noted a 50% drop in suicides, has a smart phone penetration of 45%, very close to Japan’s 39%.