It wouldn’t seem to be a surprise hearing that mobile phones can cause more harm than good. It tends to hurt us indirectly without knowing.
No matter how some may try to paint it to look good, it still doesn’t change the fact that mobile phones can be destructive sometimes.
There is no need for denying the fact that mobile phones are essential parts of our lives. Factually, they have been useful in many ways like reaching out to relations and relatives – all thanks to modern technology.
But having our phones as our best allies, as if our lives depend on them, can be quite harmful. Here are possible ways we can get hurt by our mobile phones
- It can cause nomophobia
For those who are addicted to using their phones, they can easily develop nomophobia. This is the fear of not having your phone with you.
This fear can also be triggered when your phone isn’t charged, has a low battery or out of signal.
The symptoms of this condition include but are not limited to shortness of breath, depression, anxiety, nausea, and an increase in blood pressure as well as heart rate.
From recent research, it was observed that about 60% of the adult population suffers from nomophobia. However, to overcome this fear, one can be treated by a therapist, or by disciplining oneself on phone usage.
- It can cause a dull memory
One of the ways to exercise the brain, make it stay sharp and give it strength to keep information is through memorizing.
But with a smartphone, it very much easier to lose interest in memorizing. Today, more than 70% of individuals find if faster and easier to look it up on phone, instead of memorizing.
In this way, the brain can act dull because you tend to avoid training it to remember things. This implies that we keep hurting ourselves indirectly with phones without even realizing it.
- Leads to vision problems
Using phones excessively can lead to eye strain which is also known as “Computer Vision Syndrome”, The effect of phone brightness to the eyes is the same as the from using the computer or watching TV in excess.
It has been reported that an average person can look on their phone more than 140 times in a day. Consequently, about 3 out of 5 persons developing a vision problem from it.
The symptoms associated with this vision strain include blinking less often, blurred vision, and even more serious vision problems like eye damage.
- Can cause weight gain
Weight gain is not only caused by eating unhealthy foods, but it can also be caused by unhealthy lifestyle practices like phone addiction.
While you are on phone, spending much time on it, you are highly likely to lay your hands on the available foods.
In this way, you won’t mind whether you eat healthfully or not. Fast foods, processed foods, and sugary drinks, maybe your preference since you’re too busy to make out time to prepare healthy meals.
And also, the distraction that phones can bring can make you to over-eat, since you may not be concentrating on your fullness, making you consume higher percentages of calories.
A study carried out using 1000 undergraduate shows that those who make use of their phones for a longer period have more bodyweight than those who don’t.
So you see, smartphones can cause overweight.
- Leads to sleep deprivation
Smartphones disrupt sleep just the same way TV does. Melatonin is a hormone in the body that controls the body’s sleep-wake cycle. It functions to signal the brain that it’s time to sleep and wake.
During the day, lower levels of this hormone are produced due to its ability to detect light. Whereas in the night, a high amount of it is produced to enable us to relax and fall asleep.
So when you use your phone shortly before bedtime or when you are about to sleep, the blue light that the phone emits can deceive your brain into believing that it’s day, which will make it reduce the production of the hormone.
And this will lead to being awake through the night, depriving you of sleep.
- Causes upper body pain
Pressing of the phone requires bending over, and, it affects the neck, shoulder and upper back when we stay long doing so.
The pain can be improved by stretching the bad posture – a hunch position can be corrected when you position yourself well while looking at the phone.
So, instead of staying in a humped position, you can rather sit up straight. Again, instead of bending your head to look at your phone, you can raise the phone to a reasonable level, and then lower your eyes, not your head.
Too much bending when using the phone is also known as “Text Neck”. It can trigger muscle pain and strain in the upper body, also, changes the curvature of the neck from its natural position/structure.
- Cause or worsen depression
Phones can hurt us more than we can ever imagine. Most of the time, people such as an introvert can stay glued to their phones with the motive of finding solace, ridding their worries or even getting their negative mood improved.
But in some cases, you may not find what you seek, reverse becomes the case instead. It can even worsen stress, make you develop envy, hatred and inferiority complex.
Also, you may begin to develop the thought that everyone else is better than you from the social media perspective.
This leads to losing interest in self-worth, esteem, and confidence you have for within you. In the long run, it can lead to depression.
This can be improved in engaging in activities and other pleasurable events that can positively change your mood.
- Leads to poor social life
In as much as mobile phones are one of the tools that we can use to improve our social circle, it ironically makes our social life poor.
This is because it decreases our empathy and quality communication, it disconnects us from social activities by continually luring us to it.
Someone who likes playing soccer can choose to play with his phone rather than make out time to engage in real activity.
Someone who loves reading might rather choose to use e-book that going to the library.
Mobile phones can make it convenient for you but it should not replace the role of engaging in the actual activity as it will affect your social life, and maybe one day realize you may how many friends you have lost.
- Can cause brain cancer
From a study conducted using rats, it was discovered that those rats exhibit some kind of weird and rare form of cancer affecting the brain and heart as they were exposed to electromagnetic radiation for a long time.
There are still speculations about this study, that the radiofrequency radiation cannot damage the body’s DNA which is the likely cause of cancer.
But if it can cause these effects for the rats, then there is no doubt that it can also affect humans that way in the long run as mobile phones also emit radiation.
From another study, where some individuals were monitored for 10 years, it was made known that there were risks of brain tumors that were noticed to be on the same side where they constantly use their phones.
- Can cause fatal accidents
Apart from alcohol, one of the leading causes of fatal accidents is linked to mobile phones, either trying to text, reply or answer a call while walking on the road.
Reports from the National Safety Council states, that there are more than a million crashes every year caused by mobile phones, which results in injuries, death, and disabilities.
This is why hand-held phones have been banned in some places as far as you are driving. There has been a noticeable decrease in accidents due to phone calls while driving.
- Can cause Phantom Ring Syndrome
Using mobile phones excessively can even deceive us into thinking its ringing or vibrating in the pocket while it’s not.
From different studies carried out using undergraduates, it was observed that this syndrome is more in those that are addicted to their phones especially when engaged in social media.
Their anxiousness in checking their messages can trigger the syndrome, and putting the phone on silent or off vibration might be one way to combat it.
- Gives you “text claw”
When we are engaged in our phones, texting, swiping, zooming in and out, and so on, we are indirectly subjecting the wrists and fingers to pain.
Those activities make the tendons to be inflamed and cause pain and numbness feeling in the hands, arms, and fingers. Medically it is referred to as “Cubital Tunnel Syndrome”.
- Can cause hearing loss
Chronic users of mobile phones that spend more than 60mins on calls per day are likely to develop hearing issues as a result of damage to their inner ear.
This will cause them high-frequency hearing loss which implies that they won’t be able to hear high pitched sounds.
Its symptoms range from ringing in the ears to other kinds of hearing problems, and using a hearing aid is the best treatment that can be given to such person.
To avoid this, it is advised to use the phone’s speaker while keeping the phone at a distance when on call.
There are no doubts that things have been easier, faster and better with the introduction of smartphones. However, most times, its advantages can make us turn a blind eye to its negative and unhealthy effects it brings.
So, when next, you hold your phone, think of the harmful things that it can cause when misused Sincerely, that can make you develop a good phone practice that won’t hurt you.