Mobile Phone Overuse is Real
As of the latest studies, there is approximately are approximately two-thirds of Americans are hooked to their mobile phones. If they’re not texting or calling, they’re using apps to pass time wherever they are. Parents regularly do video conference or chatting with their kids who may be living away from them. Friends who have been separated because they have decided to transfer after high school are reconnected and often communicate through Skype or other new and popular applications.
Most of us are could not imagine living without our smartphones. It seems that they have become part of our lives and they get us connected, help us organize our to-dos, and just entertain us with their latest or updated apps.
However, just as most good things, mobile phone dependency has its downside. Because of the studies showing that people spend nearly ten hours using their phones and that mobile phone users can’t stand not checking their phones within an hour’s time, the term nomophobia was recognized as a true and realistic issue. It officially means a fear of not being able to bring along their cell phones. This equally dangerous problem has negatively impacted people’s physical and mental well-being.
The Downside of Mobile Phone Dependency
Mobile phones have changed the way we interact socially and although they have made communicating more convenient and accessible, it has also encouraged people to prefer chats, calls and videoconferencing to face-to-face conversations. Communication has become impersonal and has not produced positive outcomes in terms of social skills and experience. Additionally, one survey shows this data:
- 56% of mobile phone users check their phones before sleeping
- 70% check their mobile devices just an within an hour from waking up
- 51% still check on their phones while they’re on vacation
- 41% get worried and irritable if they don’t check their phones within seven days
- 44% of adolescents in the 18-24-year-old range go to sleep still holding on to their mobile phones
Mobile phone devices have set standards for some adults and many teens and adolescents, pressuring them to purchase the latest models and acquire the top applications available in the market. Mobile phones now represent social status, and if left unchanged, the new generation will be prone to think that material things are more important than being intelligent or being family-oriented.
Some studies suggest that mobile phone dependence can cause severe back problems and eventually nerve damage in the long term. Occipital neuralgia is a case where a nerve impingement occurs between the spinal cord up to the scalp of the head, causing severe headaches or migraines.
A majority of individuals also report that they were more stressed when they became more dependent on their phones. This is because mobile phone use greatly affects and interferes with work and regular daily activities. Less time is spent on healthy hobbies like exercise, going outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.
Sleep disturbance is also one of the most common negative effects of mobile phone overuse. Individuals who bring their mobile phones to bed just before sleeping unknowingly cause them to awaken and lose their sleepiness because of exposure to bright light from the phone (or tablet, iPad, etc). A study showed a surprising result: bright light exposure keeps you awake at night compared to two cups of coffee.
Finally, there have been continuous studies going on to validate if too much mobile phone use contributes to certain types of cancer because of exposure to radiation.
Despite the tremendous positive changes that mobile phones have done for society, too much use of them may cause serious and damaging mental and emotional health problems. Let us be aware of the downside of using them and keep in mind that there are more necessary things in life that can be nurtured and developed without using mobile phones. It would be best to use them in moderation, just as everything that we deal with in life.