Excessive Cell Phone Use
Cell phones are now a compulsory part of human life. It is a great device which connects people wherever they are. But excessive use of cell phone is dangerous in many ways. It is the root of many health and social problems and there is need that such usage be moderated.
Health Effects of Excessive Cell Phone Use
Anxiety, Depression and Stress
Excessive use of cellphones can lead to anxiety, which can lead to depression since the cell phone user is in constant wait for updates or interactions with friend. If that is not done, the user gets worried. Consequently, while being busy on the phone, the user misses on other aspects of good mental health like exercise, cooking good food and real-life human conversations. According to a study from Northwestern University, the more time people spend on their phones, the more likely they are to be depressed (Paul, 2015).
The availability of an extreme phone user makes him or her vulnerable to stress due to overworking. The workday does not finish when the user gets home as he then starts making or receiving calls or text messages, checking social media notifications and emails, way into the night. This kind of lifestyle is the cause of rising stress levels in this generation (Mozes, n.d.).
Back Problems-excessive Cell Phone Use
Extreme usage of cell phones causes back pains. While using phones, people always take a posture which hurts the back. As one is busy engrossed in the facebook feed, he or she constantly hunches forward, imparting more pressure on the back. According to the British Chiropractic Association, cases of back problems among young people has been on the rise over the past years, thanks to cell phone use. The statistics as at 2015 were that 45% of young adults aging between 16 and 24 suffered from back pains after their spinal disks had been pressured. Accordingly, a study published in the Surgical Technology International in 2014 revealed that texting alone can add a total of 50 pounds of pressure on one’s spine.
Again the posture forged by an ardent cell phone user can be the cause of a long term incurable health effect in the name of occipital neuralgia. There is no cure for this condition while the only treatments are diagnosed to manage pain. This is a condition where the nerves that run from the top of the spinal cord up through the scalp become compressed or inflamed (Leonard, 2015).
Eyesight Problems-excessive Cell Phone Use
Another disadvantage of extreme use of cellphones is that it results to sight problems. Direct exposure to the blue light coming from phones has the capability of destroying the eye retina. According to a survey conducted on 2000 people, 55% of the respondents reported that eye discomfort is the main problem they experienced by the use of their phones.
Cell phones are known to give off harmful radiations which have adverse effects on human health. The radiations have the ability to penetrate into the body and alter the cell structure and even the DNA. Some of the phone’s aspect which give off harmful radiations include Bluetooth, connection to a wireless router (Wi-Fi), audio players and even calls. Phone vibrations are also culpable of triggering these harmful radiations. The radiations are capable of contributing to harmful diseases such as brain tumor, cancer, hearing impairment, male infertility, heart trouble, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, high blood pressure and Parkinson’s disease (Suhag, 2016).
Social Effects-excessive Cell Phone Use
Cell phones Act as a Distraction
According to an eMarketer study released in 2016, mobile research report reveals that the total time spent on cell phones by users is 4 hours 5 minutes per day (eMarketer, 2016). It has been realized that cell phones account for about 65% of total digital media consumption. Therefore, cellphones are considered to be an interesting media platform. The people who use cell phones most are college adults between the ages 18-24. Almost every school going child has a cellphone. Infact, the research also revealed that 81% of American adults now have smartphones. Then the question rings, what are people doing in their cellphones?
According to a research by MediaKix, humans spend an average of 1 hour 56 minutes on the top 5 social media platforms: Facebook, twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. Many adults are spending most of their time in social networks. The average life of a college student is focused on at least one social sites. As a matter of fact, the platform for communication, dating, updates on fashions and even schoolwork is social network. While these networks are important sites if utilized well, it has been discovered that as a matter of fact, adults spend their time chatting, reading posts, viewing photos, watching clips and commenting on posts. These acts are often a deviation from the normal schedule. For instance, instead of studying, a student will pick up his smartphone, get into Instagram and start viewing photos and funny clips. The student may go ahead viewing for several hours, oblivious of the fact that he was studying. Thus, the smartphone succeeds in drifting his attention from classwork. The distraction emanating from cellphones is not just from schoolwork, but also classwork or any other regular schedule.
Cell Phones make one Socially Inept
Noteworthy is the fact that the distraction characteristic of cellphones damages social relationships. People fail to interact because of their focus on cellphones. It robs families free unadulterated time with each other. For instance, a husband who uses cellphones excessively is likely to give his wife little or no attention while in the home. A child will most likely not hear her mom calling because she is engrossed in her cell phone. These are challenges created by thee excessive use of phones among family members. A group of friends might not have healthy conversations while together just because a number of them are concentrating on their cellphones. Therefore, phones have the ability to drift us away from the world of reality where face to face communication and full attention is an ingredient for communication.
Cellphones, when used excessively, also make people disinterested to interact with each other in person. Such people are less likely to engage in prosocial behavior (University of Maryland, 2012). In terms of character development, there is always a huge difference between how people who interact with one another face to face and those who prefer cell phone conversations present themselves in public. Face to face conversations instill confidence in people and such persons are socially active. However, cellphone lovers are socially inept. They are likely to have challenges when interacting with people. This is because they are not used to having one on one conversations and might have developed a self-centered view of everything. Hiding in the shadow of cellphones slackens the socialization capacity of an individual and kills such a person’s public confidence and self-esteem in return.
Cell phones are a course of adverse health issues. They also bring about social challenges in terms of interaction with the people around you. It is therefore imperative that the use of cell phones should be moderated so as to mitigate the health and social effects of overusing them.
eMarketer. (2016, April). Stats to Know Abot US Mobile Usage. Retrieved from https://www.emarketer.com/corporate/coverage/be-prepared-mobile
Leonard, J. (2015, December 1). 16 Seriously Damaging Side Effects Of Your Smartphone Addiction. Retrieved from Natural Living Ideas: http://www.naturallivingideas.com/16-seriously-damaging-side-effects-of-your-smartphone-addiction/
Mozes, A. (n.d.). Your Smartphone May Be Stressing You Out. Retrieved from HealthyDay News : https://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/0112/your-smartphone-may-be-stressing-you-out.aspx?xid=tw_everydayhealth_20120112_smartphone
Paul, M. (2015, July 15). Your Phone Knows If You’re Depressed. Retrieved from Northwestern University: https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2015/07/your-phone-knows-if-youre-depressed
Suhag, A. (2016). Impact of Excessive Mobile Phone Usage on Human. Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology. Retrieved from https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/impact-of-excessive-mobile-phone-usage-on-human-jcsb-1000235.php?aid=82033
University of Maryland. (2012, February 16). UMD Researchers Find Cell Phone Use Linked to Selfish Behavior. Retrieved from https://research.umd.edu/news/news_story.php?id=7145