What is the one thing you absolutely cannot live without? For most people, a smartphone will top the list. It’s the one device you reach for when you’re trying to escape boredom at work, in bed, at the bus station, on the bus—just about anywhere—and this easy accessibility is what got us addicted to smartphones.
Most of us can’t even go 5 minutes without our precious device slipping into our handbags, and with ever-present technology, we need these smartphones for even the smallest of things like ordering food, going for a walk, booking a hotel, or making a reservation. stay in touch with loved ones.
But with the overuse of technology, more and more people are becoming disconnected from reality, and as with any drug, smartphone addiction can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms when you try to get away from it. But aside from the psychological side effects of being addicted to your smartphone, there are a number of other dire health consequences of staring at a screen all day.
Almost all modern technology consists of an LED display, whether it’s your TV, computer or smartphone. Even when you’re at work or studying for that all-important test, you’re mostly staring at your computer screen (because the books are so early 2000s). Now that you’re messing around with your smartphone, all that screen time is bound to take a toll on your eyesight.
Ophthalmologist Howard Purcell says extensive use of digital devices can put a strain on your eyes, leading to dreaded symptoms like itching, redness, blurred vision and headaches. Our eyes are not designed to stare at the harsh blue light emitted by most digital devices for long periods of time. Many studies have warned that excessive smartphone use can make your pupils more sensitive to light and cause muscle strain around the eyes.
If you absolutely must use a digital device for work or other educational purposes, doctors suggest following a 20/20/20 rule where you rest your eyes from looking at a screen every 20 minutes and look at something else that is at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a much needed break and prevent them from getting tired.
Pay attention to your posture the next time you watch a cute cat video or text your friend on your smartphone. Many of us have a habit of slouching while using digital devices, which is not only bad for our posture, but can also lead to severe neck and shoulder pain. This condition is so common among smartphone users that it has earned its own medical term: text neck.
It’s not just your neck and your eyes that suffer from excessive smartphone use. Medical experts warn their patients against this bad habit because of its detrimental effect on tendon reinforcement and wrist strength. Due to the widespread use of handheld digital devices, cases of wrist and carpal tunnel are more common than ever.
Have you ever found yourself reaching for your phone in bed to check a notification, only to find yourself on Instagram or Facebook by 3am? Well, now you know why you feel tired and irritable at work all day.
A good night’s sleep is crucial for proper brain function, which is why it’s recommended to put your digital devices away before bed and not use them until morning. Staring at a bright screen before going to sleep will do reduce melatonin levels in your body and stimulates the production of stress hormones that will keep your brain alert hours before sleep.
The ever-present problem of anxiety and other mental disorders is complex and multi-faceted, but it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that cyberspace has played a role in the alarming rise in mental health issues worldwide. Psychiatrists say that most people are diagnosed with acquired anxiety disorder because they spend more time in the digital world than in the real world.