People around the world spend hours of their daily lives using smartphones; therefore, it is important to conduct cross-cultural research on the effects of smartphone use on health and well-being as culture influences values, motivations and communication patterns. The purpose of this study was to explore 5 popular uses of the smartphone–messaging, browsing the Internet, posting social content, reading social content, and playing games–how they relate to anxiety and depression scores, and how they vary depending on the country of the participants: Spain, the United States, and Colombia. In all three countries the ranking of most popular uses was the same: (1) Messaging, (2) Reading social content, and (3) Browsing the Internet. In the USA, game playing contributed to anxiety scores whereas reading social content was a protective factor; regarding depression scores, text messaging was a contributing factor. In Spain, browsing the Internet contributed to anxiety scores; regarding depression scores, messaging was a contributing factor and posting social content was a protective factor. In Colombia, no specific use influenced anxiety scores; regarding depression scores, only game playing was a protective factor. Our results showed that in all the countries, problematic smartphone use contributed to anxiety scores.
- problematic mobile phone use
- problematic smartphone use