Mobile phones have unarguably become an inevitable part of human lives – hardly is there an adult in the world that doesn’t have a phone. Commonsensically, 99% of mobile phone users can not carry out day to day conveniently without the use of mobile phones as about 70% percent of daily activities require this device. if you are running late, you need something to communicate with your boss or team mates, instant messaging is possible through social media and the mobile phone is the most portable device for this purpose amongst other devices built with/from technology.
Resolving some financial issues requires the mobile device, nobody wants to go queuing in a bank when they can transfer or send mail to their bankers to get errors resolved. To-do list, calendar, reminders, alarms and many more are on the phone! We stay in touch with our friends and family who live miles and towns and villages apart, check our work email on the go and find the answer to nearly any question with just a quick search engine and many more, plenty thanks to these mobile devices, smartphones especially.
According to a recent study conducted by the Department of Mental Health in the US, a person will pick up and check his or her device 110 times a day! Three-fourths of people will check as soon as they wake up, and 61% of people sleep with it turned on and by their bed while they sleep. There is no harm, neither does that mean one is addicted, especially as these devices are needed to be connected to today’s world you may want to say. Fine, but when it comes to matters of health, there are a lot of harms. Let’s see some of them below: 1. Brain Chemistry: Checking the device or doing some fun stuffs like watching video on YouTube, Netflix, Facebook and other social media sites is cool and can help the brain to release two feel-good chemicals — Dopamine and Oxytocin, which are normally released when we feel love for someone or do something that makes us feel good. Dopamine helps us form good habits, like exercising but on the flip side, it tampers with the brain chemistry, making one derive too much joy in the phones, thereby reducing the fulfillment and joy from engaging in the real world. That is why today, many don’t bother visiting friends and family, once they hi on WhatsApp, it is done and cool – the brain is distorted! 2. Anxiety, Addiction and Withdrawal: Over time, the said device has damaged our social relationships and health and is changing the way we interact with one another. People find themselves checking their phones incessantly, even when spending time with someone else. This can harm personal relationships, create communication barriers and even lead to social isolation. The science linking these devices’ usage to rising depression and suicide rates, is overwhelming, especially amongst younger people. One study found that people, who are glued to their smartphones are significantly less happy. Researchers determined that those who excessively used on-screen devices exhibited lower levels of happiness than people who spent more time engaging in non-screen activities. Close to 50% of people report that they feel uneasy if they leave their phones at home, thinking what if they miss an important work email, or fail to see a phone call or text from a friend or relative? All those “what ifs” can make you feel very anxious. Many of us also use our cellphones as a way to alleviate any anxiety that stems from other places in our lives. What we don’t realise is that cellphone usage leads to the release of cortisol, a hormone linked to stress, creating a vicious cycle that can lead to increased anxiety. Read also: Coronavirus Affects The Kidney- Lagos Health Commissioner Reveals 3. Sleep disorder: Mobile devices are, not may be, the reason some people do not have adequate sleep or have trouble going to sleep. A recent study found that one in three smartphone users will wake up in the middle of the night and check their phones. Many people also check their phones right before bed and first thing in the morning, which means phones are a big part of many people’s sleep routines. Research has also found the bright light of a phone’s screen makes it difficult to sleep, while another study found that using the smartphone right before bed results in delayed sleep and poorer quality of sleep. 4. Unhealthy levels of radiation: Mobile phones communicate with base stations using radiofrequency (RF) radiation, which if too high, has a thermal effect (raises body temperature). There are concerns that the low levels of RF radiation emitted by mobile phones could cause health problems such as headaches or brain tumours. 5. Germs and Bacteria: mobile phones are good means of harbouring the bacteria that can only be found in the bathroom. When you place your mobile phones in the toilet, on surfaces and other places, bacteria and germs get on them and then you pick the phone again. Even after washing your hands, you are going back to touch the phones, you know, thereby coming in contact with the bacteria, viruses and germs. 6. Body pains, especially the neck, eyes and hands: to use the this device, the hands, eyes, neck and body generally (body posture) are put to use and if they are used for a long time, one may experience stiffness in the hand/fingers and neck, and eyes pain. The brightness from the phones are hazardous when the eyes stare at it for long. Many times, we put our bodies in discomfort simply because we need to press the phone, leading to body ache. 7. Vibration syndrome: Do you know that feeling when you are rushing to your device or to remove it from your pockets or bag, simply because you thought it rang or vibrated? That is vibration syndrome. You didn’t just develop that on your own, your phones caused the reflex! 8. Electromagnetic interference: You sure must have heard about the death of an energetic dancer Kodak – she was electrocuted while charging and using her phone. That is one of the hazards of mobile phones on your health 9. Lost concentration and Accidents: this does not need a scientific proof, many know that once they are with their mobile devices, they lose concentration with the real world and their immediate environment. This is a huge disturb to the mental health as one will lose focus or end up unproductive or time-wasting. Loss of concentration can harm the physical health, from bumping into things to automobile accidents and many other harms. Research, according to WHO, has shown an increased risk of traffic accidents, some 3-4 times greater chance of an accident, when mobile phones (either handheld or with a “hands-free” kit) are used while driving due to distraction. 10. Chronic Medical problems or even death: According to the WHO, research has shown that exposure to the radiofrequency (RF) fields emitted by the devices may lead to cancer and other chronic health effects, or even death as in the case of Kodak and so many others who have passed away. Now that you know all of this, it is expected that you stay safe and healthy. Phones have become part of life, YES, but moderation and safety are key… STAY HEALTHY! Photos Credit: Getty