Madonna once said, we live in “a material world”. Among the material things we get to enjoy is the use of certain technologies in our everyday lives such as cell phones. These amazing and compact devices have undoubtedly changed the world forever.
Perhaps cell phones are one of the most important inventions ever. It enables us to get connected and entertained, all within the palm of our hand. While cell phones has made our communication, entertainment, and our lives in general more convenient than before, some people have developed an attachment to it to the point of addiction.
Effects of Cell Phone Overuse
Just when you think it’s just a gadget and won’t cause you any harm, you are wrong. In fact, cell phone overuse can actually cause significant negative effects in your life.
With this, here are some disturbing facts you need to know about cell phone addiction, and why you should take it seriously now:
1. Cell phone addiction can cause overdependence on your device
A PEW Research Center study revealed that 67 percent of smart phone owners constantly checked on their phones for calls, messages, or any notifications when their phone did not ring or vibrate. Apparently, the satisfaction we get when we get our hands on our mobile phones is due to the same chemicals that drug users get when they are “high”.
2. Nomophobia is real.
Nomophobia is the fear of being disconnected to your mobile phone, and it is actually a real phenomenon. A study called “The World Unplugged” revealed that majority of the university students involved in the study experienced physical and mental stress due to their being away from their mobile phones – even if it’s only for 24 hours.
3. Cell phone addiction can affect your personal relationships.
Another study also found that female college students spent 10 hours a day on their phones than personally spending time with their friends. You may have also seen some funny online photos of families or couples glued to their mobile phones instead of interacting with each other. In real life, however, it does happen and is not funny at all.
4. Cell phone addiction can cause lack of sleep
A 2013 survey found that more than 60 percent of younger mobile phone users use their phones before bed time. The use of cell phones during bed time can actually affect our quality of sleep due to overexposure to bright light. It’s basically a similar effect of caffeine when we want to stay up longer.
5. Cell phones carry more bacteria than your toilet seat
A study from the University of Arizona revealed that the “average mobile phone has 10 times the amount of bacteria” found on a toilet seat. During the day we touch different surfaces, and then we hold our phones without washing our hands first. So, just imagine sticking your phone on your face when you’re talking to somebody.
6. Cell phone use can affect our attention span
While cell phone usage is said to improve our multitasking skills, cell phone usage can be distracting particularly in social situations. Likewise, it’s no wonder we can already read or write thoughts in 140 characters or less.
7. Too much cell phone use can affect our health and fitness
Some people would prefer using their smart phones than doing physical activities, which can contribute to weight gain and cardiovascular problems. Moreover, it can also cause back problems due to being constantly hunched over your cell phone, as well as digital eye strain and other visual problems due to exposure to screen for hours.
8. Too much cell phone usage can cause accidents
Even with the existence of “hands-free” cell phone usage cannot guarantee 100 percent safety in driving. Likewise, you can also suffer from accidents if you are fond of browsing your phone while walking on the street.
9. Cell phone usage can cause mental health problems.
Just like any other addiction, cell phone usage withdrawal may not be easy as it seems. Being over dependent to cell phones can cause stress as well, which in turn can cause mental health problems if left ignored.
10. Cell phone addiction is real, and it can be treated.
You don’t need to be an alcoholic or a drug user to be considered an “addict”. The abovementioned facts are already alarming signs that it’s time to do something about your excessive attachment to your phone or else, suffer its dire consequences.