Smartphone: Dumb Move

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Smartphone: Dumb Move

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We see it every day. We witness our peers walking down the hallway staring at their phone screens, avoiding conversations. We can see moms standing in line at the supermarket scrolling through online coupons or Facebook with their index finger. We notice people talking on their phones while driving not thinking about the risks involved. We have all seen it, yet we don’t even think twice about it anymore. It has become so commonplace in our society that it feels like many people can’t even live without them. It’s gotten to the point that it’s actually dangerous for our health and well-being.

I know what you’re thinking. I don’t need some teenage girl lecturing me about how bad phones are when she’s probably on her phone right now. Well, you’re right. I know you don’t want to hear about the dangers and hazards of phones, because, regardless of this article, you’re going to spend just as much time on your phone anyway, but just hear me out. You might find something useful from this, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll take some of these risks to heart.

For most of us, we start and end our days the same way: using our phones. According to digitaltrends.com, in approximately one day, we spend about 4.7 hours on our phones. There are only 24 hours in a day and an average person sleeps for eight of those. That leaves roughly 15 hours left in our day to go to school, practice, or extracurriculars. That means that we spend approximately one-third of our day on our phones. That might not sound like a lot of time in comparison to all the other things you do in your day, but 4.7 hours a day adds up to 23 days a year. If that still doesn’t shock you, on average a person checks their phone once every 10 minutes. That evens out to roughly 85 times a day: 85 times just checking your phone for notifications.

The risks of phone use are becoming more and more alarming. Not to mention the fact that car wrecks have been increased due to phone use, I mean, we’ve all seen the commercials. Besides from becoming distracted from our phones, though, there are many other dangers that cell phones cause. We spend so much time on our phones, and there are some pretty scary health issues that accompany it. There is some evidence that suggests that cell phones can increase stress levels. This can be attributed to the constant vibrating, ringing, and reminders. In fact, scientists at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden have conducted a study that shows that women aged 20-24 with high cell phone use have had increased stress levels and sleeping problems. In the same study, it showed that men aged 20-24 have had more sleep disturbances and symptoms of depression. With school and all the homework we have, carrying more stress on our backs is not something we want. There are some apps, though that have helped with some of the problems phones are creating. Apps like Twilight and computer programs like f.lux remove the blue light from smartphones which can improve your sleep cycle.

In addition to stress, staring at your phone screen constantly can lead to chronic pain. Responding to text messages and continuously typing can cause inflamed joints and pain. Also, holding your phone between your neck and shoulders can lead to neck and back problems. According to healthcentral.com, long periods of cell phone use can cause you to arch your back more than normal and ultimately lead to back pain.

Since the first iPhone was created, the use of smartphones and technology have continued to increase. With more advanced smart phones comes more health risks that you should be aware of, even if you don’t care.

So take a break from the phone screen. Go outside, enjoy nature, and don’t worry so much about tweets, snapchats, and Instagram pics. Staying updated on your favorite celebrities tweets, or seeing what your friends texted you are not important when you’re potentially putting yourself in danger.

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