Excessive use can affect your health, relationships and more. Here are some reasons you might want to switch off.
Smartphones have sneaked into our everyday existence to the point that we cannot live without them. Everything from our schedules to our recipes are on that little screen which dictates everything from what time we must wake up, go to bed and even at times how often we must drink water! While our smartphones do have their pros (the drink-water reminder app is, confessedly, a good thing) but did you know that our smartphones could well be causing more harm than good and are becoming self-fulfilling prophesies? After all we did remember to drink water on time or wake up without an alarm or plan our schedules perfectly well before the advent of the smartphone! What is perhaps most ironic is the fact that several of you are probably reading this article on your smartphone. Even so, here are some reasons why you might want to put it aside.
#1 It is ruining your posture
You probably know this already. But did you know that the average head weighs anywhere between 4½ to 5½ kg? So when we bend our necks to use our phones to, let’s say, 60 degrees, the stress on our necks increases to over 27 kg, five times more than when we use our heads the way we are supposed to. Senior doctors have revealed that the posture problems that were earlier spotted in old women and men are now being spotted in younger people. And the cause for all of this is, of course, the smartphone.
#2 It is blunting your memory
There was a time not long ago when we remembered contact numbers; we didn’t just reach out to the phone and look it up. With the advent of smartphones not just telephone numbers but all kinds of information is at our fingertips. Who wrote Oliver Twist? Who is the vice president of India? What is the name of the governor of your state? What about that guy you called up the other day? Do you remember his name? You see where we are going with this, right? Smartphones are dulling our memory.
Here’s what you can do about it: Play memory games. And opt for old-school board games instead of playing them on a mobile phone app.
#3 It could trigger nomophobia
Nomophobia is the fear of being without your mobile phone. It is the irrational fear that the world around you is coming crashing down when you don’t have your mobile phone with you or when it is discharged. Here’s what you can do about it: Make a conscious effort of being away from your phone. Seek help from your partner or your friends and colleagues to get over it. The fear is irrational; trust us.
#4 It can lead to depression
Several studies have linked social media usage to depression. Most of us access our Facebook and Instagram accounts on our mobile phone and being bombarded by photographs of happy looking people every single minute of every single day is known to lead to unfair comparisons to one’s own life. These comparisons trigger feelings of depression and bring down one’s self worth.
Here’s what you can do about it: Take time to look back at your achievements, the little victories of your life and all those moments that have made you smile. We know this is easier said than done but it is worth the while.
#5 It puts strain on your eyes
This one’s a no-brainer, really. Continuous staring at a screen generally causes you to blink less frequently. This in turn results in headaches, blurred vision and dry eyes. Think about it, our modern life is caught between two screens—the computer and the mobile phone! Barring the time we sleep, we are flitting between these two gadgets causing immense stress on our eyes. It has been proved that reading on a digital screen causes more stress on your eyes than reading from a printed page. But you probably knew that already, didn’t you?
Here’s what you can do about it: Take a break every 15-20 minutes from the screen you’ve dug yourself into and look around. Give your eyes some rest. If you’re travelling, look outside the window and actually appreciate the beauty around you!