Did you catch the latest headlines about teenagers growing bony “horns” on the back of their skulls as a result of excessive use of smartphones? As usual, the mainstream media overstated the message in the original study…but it may not be entirely “fake news” either. There is no question that smartphones they are changing our bodies and our minds. It is quite clear that these devices are here to stay…so it is incumbent upon us to learn how to integrate them into our lives in the healthiest way possible. Addiction to these devices is a real and worrisome problem, so if you check your phone every few minutes for no reason at all…this article is for you.
Cell phone technology has been around since the middle of the 1940s. However, it was not until the mid-1980’s that cellphones became widely available. Today mobile phones are part of our daily life. Everyone from youngsters to old folks has a personal phone of their own – generally in their pocket or purse – accessible 24 hours a day.
The first mobile phones were big and clunky, allowing for calling only – forget taking pictures, email, or social media. Few people actually had cell phones when they were first introduced. Now, if you don’t have one, you are considered odd.
Are you addicted to your cell phone?
Think about it….Do you freak out when you think you have lost your cell phone? Do you become restless when you don’t check your texts or email every few minutes? Do you sleep with your phone under your pillow or by your bed? Is it the last thing you touch before you go to bed and the first thing you touch when you wake up? If so, it could mean that you have a cell phone addiction.
Are you addicted to your phone?
If any of these sound true for you, it may be time to take a serious look at your cellphone use:
- You become anxious when people don’t respond to your text as quickly as you would like
- You feel lost or become irritable without your phone
- You check your phone all the time – even when engaged with other people or situations
- You are often forgetful or lacking focus
- You trade sleep for time on your phone
- You are not productive with your time
An unhealthy and obsessive relationship with a cell phone can be exhaustive, leading to fatigue and disorientation. There is a constant pressure to be available, and this has an impact on daily living and health.
Here are the top four ways that your addiction to your cell phone may be harming your health:
- Excessive cell phone use causes stress – In a desperate need to be connected at all times, many people live in a constant state of stress. Researchers have found that heart rates increase when people can hear their phone but not get to it. How do you feel when this happens? When study subjects were given their phone, their anxiety was resolved. Heightened stress leads to both physical and mental ailments, including depression.
- Poor sleep is associated with cell phone use – Do you fall asleep with your phone in your hands?. Researchers have found that extended periods of exposure to short-wavelength light like that from a smartphone can result in irregular, short, and delayed sleep. Lack of proper sleep can severely impact overall health and wellness.
- Cell phones interfere with concentration and learning – Even just having a cell phone around could interfere with learning, according to research. Unfortunately, even if you try to fight the temptation to avoid your phone – it still interferes with concentration and learning. This is because people become distracted when they hear their phone, which takes their mind off of the task at hand – including education and retaining information.
- Too much cell phone use hurts posture – If you are constantly on your cell phone, it can have a negative impact on your posture. This is due to the forward neck position that occurs when you are on your phone, which can cause injury to the structure of the cervical and lumbar spine in addition to the ligaments. Furthermore, this can cause changes in the form and biomechanics of the rib cage, leading to breathing issues;
-The UpWellness Team