We are living in a world that is designed to keep us plugged in. Whether we are focusing on screens for business purposes or we are using them for entertainment, literally everything that we do is powered by machine. Cell phones are no longer a texting and calling tool, with the occasional game of Snake thrown in for good measure. We use smartphones to stay connected to social media and other sharing platforms, to send and receive emails, to share work and be in touch with those who are going to be relevant in our lives. We use smartphones for gaming, telling the time, checking the weather, calendaring our years. The sheer availability of information at the very palm of our hands has changed the way that we live and work, and it’s an innovation that has been mostly positive over the years.
The issue arises when you realize that our mental and physical health can be affected by the screens in our hands. 92% of Americans carry a cell phone, with over 30% of them admitting that they never turn off their device. That’s a significant figure when you consider the number of people using a smartphone. A third of people don’t switch it off, and it’s here that you have to wonder whether there is a very real problem with the cell phone usage of today.
Parents today provide their children with cell phones earlier and earlier so that they can keep in touch with them when they are away from home. All of this together allows us to believe that there is more than enough ground to talk about the growing addiction to cell phones, as well as the dangers of cell phones on your health. There are several health hazards to keep in mind when it comes to cell phone overuse, and microwave radiation transmitted by these devices primarily cause the negative health effects of cell phone use.
We do everything as we can as a society to stay connected to each other, but is this becoming difficult to manage with our health? It’s time to take a look and swallow the truth about the negative influence of cell phones and the technology that keeps them innovating.
Cell Phone Paranoia
You’ve probably experienced it for yourself. You’re walking down the road, and you’re convinced that your smartphone is vibrating in your pocket. You reach in, and nothing. This particular phenomenon is known as phantom pocket vibration syndrome, and studies have shown that 89% of teenagers have experienced it. Those with a social media addiction experience this regularly, as they become nervous that they will miss a call or text and not be in the know for five minutes. This anxiety is not healthy, and the best way to combat these feelings is to switch off entirely and leave the smartphone at home. It can be difficult at first, but this is the only way that nervousness can go.
Eye Strain & Sight Issues
The more time you spend staring at a computer screen – even one as small and portable as a cell phone – the more you strain your eyes. They dry out; they hurt when you blink, and they can lead to headaches. Eventually, the constant staring at the pixelated screens can lead to visual deterioration. Maintaining clear sight is vital to your health, and keeping devices at least 16 inches away from the face is necessary for your eye health. If you suffer from sight issues already, change the settings on your phone so that the font is bigger and you can read it more clearly. Always keep up with your optometrist appointments – just in case.
Brain Cancer – It’s A Risk
There are studies and research that has shown that excessive use of cell phones can lead to the formation of glioma and acoustic neuroma – tumors in the brain that is triggered by radio frequencies of the electromagnetic fields given off by cell devices. If you are glued to your cell phone, it may be time to learn to unplug. The last thing that you need is something worse than eye strain, and all because you just couldn’t put down Facebook.
Blue Light Technology
You cannot ignore the influence that cell phones have on our sleep. Some studies show that cell phone usage at bedtime only serves to induce insomnia. Even setting the alarm and putting it under the pillow is a terrible idea! Microwave transmission from a cell phone is harmful for the brain, and sleep deprivation can lead to some serious mental health issues. Switch it off before bed, or leave it in another room and invest in a proper alarm clock.
We need our spines to stay healthy, and when you are slouching over a screen all day long, you are making sure that you are going to end up with nagging neck and back pain. Neck pain can lead to headaches, which can make us feel much worse than we already did. It can feel annoying to watch your posture every time you are using your phone, but you need to let it become a habit. Relieving pressure on your spine is just one of the ways that you can ensure comfort when using your cell phone. The other way is to stop using it all the time no matter what!
Humans were not designed to sit hunched over small screens every day, but the addictive qualities that this need for information has on us has us doing exactly that. Smartphones are very intelligent, and the technology and availability of this technology, while a part of the innovation of the future, is not going to serve us well when it comes to our health. Recognize the signs of cell phone overuse and keep your teenagers off their smartphones for the majority of the day. We need to realize that there is a world beyond our smartphones, and encourage our teenagers to realize the same thing, so that they don’t become addicted to the technology in front of us – no matter how entertaining it is.