The Woes of Excessive Mobile Usage and Getting Rid of Them

The Woes of Excessive Mobile Usage and Getting Rid of Them

For the past couple decades or so, people have been praising mobile phones and calling them a miracle technology that has made our lives so much easier. They’ve replaced cameras, sound recorders, record players, alarm clocks and calendars and have provided us with the one ultimate device you need to survive in the 21st century. But, have you ever taken just a second to realize that this small device that we struggle to keep updated by rebuying ever year or so is actually doing more harm than we think about? Well, as the old saying goes, excess use of anything is bad for health, and the same can be said for phones too.

Here are five ways your mobile phone proves to be harmful for your well-being.

Misaligning the Neck Posture

Let’s do a bit of basic math to understand this, shall we? So, the average human head weights about 12 pounds, that means that at all times there’s at least a weight of 12 pounds on your neck and shoulders. This isn't a problem, obviously because your body is designed to deal with this pressure. However, when you’re looking down, ergo, browsing your phone, you’re significantly increasing the weight applied to your upper body. Leading 15 degrees forward brings that head weight up to 27 pounds, a 30 degree angle applies 40 pounds on your neck and finally, a 45 degree angle goes over the top by putting 60 pounds of strain on your neck. For several years you might not feel a thing apart from minor inconvenience and occasional pain in your back. However, given enough time, this minor problems will evolve to a disc herniation, pinched nerves, degeneration and spine surgery.

Texting and Driving

Yes, having a phone does not necessarily mean that you’re putting yourself at a risk of texting and driving. However, when it comes down to it, we just can’t resist the urge to check out Snapchat that one time when sitting still at a traffic signal, now can we? In 2015, over 3,500 people were killed because of texting and driving while almost 400,000 were injured. We can guarantee that these people didn’t think that they were addicted enough to check their phone mid-route, however, it happened. And, it proved out to be more than just a minor inconvenience to their day.

A Social Killer

In a way, you could say that mobile phones are a revolution in the social world by providing us with WhatsApp, Messenger, etc. to stay in contact with the people we care about. However, this may be backfiring a little bit. Let’s explain how with a research conducted at the University of Essex. Basically, 37 pairs of strangers were given each other 10 minutes to talk to each other. Half of them were handed their phones, while the other half were not. The results concluded that the people without the phones talked for longer time and had much more meaningful conversations and were also more likely to become friends. This goes to show that even though you might have 500 friends on Facebook, chatting with them all the time may reduce your real ones to zero.

Slaughtering Your Productivity

Let’s talk about what productivity actually is. It’s the art of being completely into your work, not having an ounce of attention on anything else for extended periods of time. A fairly simple definition, but when you factor in a phone that’s sitting on your desk, you will never be able to achieve that undivided attention you need to become productive. Basically, your phone will buzz every once in a while that will force you to take a couple minutes to check the message, and then get back in the work flow. Even if the phone is on silent and doesn’t ring, some of us have the bad habit of checking our phones without any rhyme or reason, opening Facebook, looking at some memes and then putting it back. Research has suggested that even a 2.8 seconds of break to check your phone can totally kill your productivity. If you’re an employer, we know that you’re rethinking your mobile usage policy during work hours.

Lack of Attention While Walking

Everyone falls every now and then, but do you realize that 52% of accidents – anything from tripping and simply getting back up, to tripping and fracturing a bone – happen because the person in question was looking at their screen instead of paying attention to their surroundings? That is truly an astounding percentage because if you’ve ever been to a mall or a subway, you’d see that staring down on your phone is actually what people do 90% of the time while walking.

Solving the Problem

So, now you’re probably a bit more aware of how phones are actually ruining our lives the same time they’re making it easier. Yes, these problems were quite obvious and everyone knows them. However, we never pay attention to them because we keep ourselves in denial that someone so helpful can possibly hurt us. If you’ve understood how the device in your pocket is hurting you, then keep reading on. We’re about to suggest several things you can do to get rid of your mobile addiction.

Keep Your Phone Away from Your Bed

No, we’re not saying this for some weird reason like, “Oh, mobiles product radioactive rays and stuff that hurts your body”. Well yeah, they do, but literally every electronic product does. There are two reasons why we suggest keeping your phone away from the place you sleep. First, your phone will affect your sleep even if you keep it on silent. Even while asleep, we have the urge to check our phones. You may think that you check the time on your phone during the night because you’re having trouble sleeping, but the truth is that the only reason you wake up is to check that phone. Second, your phone shouldn’t be the first thing that you check in the morning. Wake up, drink a glass of water, shower, get some breakfast and maybe then you can check your phone quickly in 5-10 minutes.

Tailor the Notifications You Receive

Does your urge to check your phone every time it rings overwhelm you during work or study hours? Well, the best way to counter this is to limit the number of notifications you receive. We don’t suggest turning off notifications completely since that is going to be counter-productive and you’ll still check your phone again and again. Just opt out of notifications that you don’t need instantly. This includes notifications from YouTube, your phone’s Theme Store, the App Store, etc.

Get an Actual Alarm Clock

We never recommend that a cellphone is the first thing you touch after waking up. But, what do you do if the cellphone is what’s waking you up? To get rid of the bad habit of checking messages before getting up and getting a glass of water, we suggest getting a real alarm clock. You have no idea how it can do wonders to help you out.

Downgrading to a Feature Phone

We all love getting the new iPhone the day it is released. What if you were to do the exact opposite? The best way to counter social media addiction is to delete those applications. This is a pretty tough job, but what if your phone wasn’t even able to run those hefty application? Yes, we’re talking about regular Nokia features phones. They’re extremely difficult to use these days especially because of how limited they are in terms of functionality. But, they do have all the necessary things you need to survive. If you ever feel your cellphone addiction peaking, switch on over to a feature phone for a couple of weeks to completely get rid of it.

Allot Numbers for Every Activity

So, you spend 8 hours in your office every day, but you can’t seem to fight the addiction of your phone. Well, how about you limit the number of time you check the phone every day? And, we don’t just mean the phone, limit the number of times you open each app. For example, emails are less important, so just check them a couple times each day. Texts are more important, so check them five times a day. Facebook for a few minutes can also be good to clear up the mind and relax a bit. So, Facebook for about three times a day is more than sufficient.

Closing Thoughts

Phones are indeed one of the best things that humanity has ever made. They’re so amazingly helpful at literally every day. However, they can also be really bad for you if you let them be that. Excess usage of smartphones was, is and never will be a good idea. It will take a lot away from your real life activities and keep you from doing all that you need to do. So, if you want your life to include all the things you care about, we suggest that you don’t spend half of it staring at a mobile screen.