Stop Looking at Your Phone and Achieve Better Health

Excessive smartphone use can increase narcissistic traits and anxiety.

Michael Hunter, MD
1 min readDec 19, 2020


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

So many of us spend too much time staring at our smartphones. Did you know that smartphone addiction is a real entity? Today we look at some of the health consequences of overuse of the device. A 2017 study showed:

Excessive smartphone use can be harmful. Problematic smartphone use could lead to increased narcissistic traits and anxiety.

How often do you hit the “like” button on your social media? When we do so, we activate our brain’s reward circuitry. A 2018 study showed that giving and receiving “Likes” activates the brain’s rewards circuitry, including the following:

  • The striatum region, an area that integrates actions with rewards;
  • The ventral tegmental area, which has dopamine-containing nerve cells. These cells play a central role in addiction.

Want to break the circuit? When you can, put your smartphone in a drawer. Try to keep it out of the bedroom, too. I try to avoid looking at it after 9 pm.

I hope you have a joy-filled day. Thank you for joining me today.



Michael Hunter, MD

I have degrees from Harvard, Yale, and Penn. I am a radiation oncologist in the Seattle area. You may find me regularly posting at