Mobile phone addiction, excessive use of mobile phones, and effects of excessive use of mobile phones are impacting your wellbeing adversely. It may lead to smartphone addiction, which may create multiple health issues. The Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) is being increased by addiction to social media. The feeling that others are having more fun and living a better life can impact your self-esteem and trigger anxiety.
As per a study conducted by CMR, the average time spent on smartphones is on the rise. It was 5.5 hours before COVID which has now increased by 25% to 6.9 hours. It should alarm you all. Likewise, it is negatively affecting your children and their growth.
Social media and smartphone
In the present era of social media, our span of concentration is decreasing. More and more short-form contents are being consumed online, ranging from Instagram and Facebook reels, and TikTok videos to YouTube shorts. These are devoid of any meaningful entertainment or learning. However, it gives a sense of newness every second, and you spend hours altogether watching such content. By doing so, you are wasting your valuable time and inviting stress into your life.
Blue rays have harmful effects on the eyes and general health. Research has proved time and again that blue rays emanating from smartphones and similar devices have an adverse impact on your health. There are innumerable web pages and wellness coaches advising you to ditch your smartphone at least two hours before you go to sleep, otherwise, it will impact your quality of sleep and general wellbeing.
Children’s addiction and lower concentration
Mobile phone and social media addiction are leading to anxiety and stress among children. The tendency of suicide is on the rise. News of the killing of his mother by a teenage boy for refusing him to play mobile games has become a common phenomenon.
Children should be encouraged to play out in the open. A conducive environment has to be created for outdoor playing.
Cause of anxiety and stress
It is well researched and proven fact that addiction is leading to stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues at a young age. It also lowers concentration and memory.
Screen time on mobile – Lifestyle disease – the problem of neck pain
Medical complications like neck pain and weak eyesight are becoming more and more evident. Therefore, judicious use of technical gadgets is of paramount importance for general health and wellbeing.
Buck Institute for Research on Aging looked at fruit flies – an insect commonly used by scientists because it is considered to have similar biological processes to humans. Researchers at the Buck Institute, a nonprofit in California that investigates matters related to aging and age-related disease, found that eye damage caused by too much screen time can lead to damage to other vital organs. It even shortens your lifespan.
The latest study investigated how light exposure to the eyes contributes to how long someone lives. It was a “surprise” even for the researchers to know that the eye can “directly regulate” lifespan.
Research shows that spending too much time scrolling on your phone could literally impact your lifespan. Passive content consumption with auto-refresh enabled may be harmful to health. Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered social media algorithms are built in such a way to keep you hooked on to your smartphone. You are guilty of too much screen time, and it’s not the first time research has warned of its potential harms.
Research says that staring at your phone into the night disturbs the body clock, which influences lifespan.
The connection lies in circadian rhythms – your body’s 24-hour clock. Circadian rhythms regulate our bodily functions across a day. It adapts to light and temperature as the sun rises and sets. Depending on daylight, circadian rhythms control hormones to make us sleepy, hungry, or to wake up.
These rhythms can be thrown off by our behaviors, such as exposure to light during the night by watching TV or working shifts. The researchers found that too much light exposure to the eyes may disrupt the circadian rhythm – which is a cause of health issues. It affects not only the eyes but also other organs including the mind.
Children have less physical activity
More and more children are dependent on indoor and mind games. Many of the games are being played on smartphones and game consoles. Parents are unable to spare time for their children to make them play outside. Moreover, rapid urbanization has led to the shrinking of the playground. More and more schools are being run from multi-storey buildings. It is affecting the emotional and physical wellbeing of your kids.
Deficiency of vitamin D
Playing outdoors has benefits like physical wellbeing, high concentration, less anxiety, and stress. It improves the social skills of the children. Children who play outdoors are less likely to suffer from social anxiety. Stage phobia and social anxiety are prevalent among kids these days due to the non-conducive environment around them.
Face-to-face vs on smartphone
Meeting and engaging with your friends and family face-to-face or through digital means like calls, chats, voice notes or video calls have both pros and cons, however, these are not mutually exclusive. Both may be used smartly without sacrificing wellbeing. Overuse of one medium over the other may impact our relationship and happiness.
Social contact and connections missing
Maybe you are missing your social connections due to cell phone addiction. More and more talks and interactions are being held through electronic means, which is affecting your emotional wellbeing. The TOUCH has the power of rejuvenating your body and mind.
Don’t use a smartphone when you are with people
It will be wise to keep your phone out of reach while interacting with other people or family members. Keeping your phone out of sight will lower your urge to touch and use it.
Keep notification on your smartphone OFF
Just like keeping a phone in silence mode during high-priority business meetings, it is advisable to keep all the notifications OFF on your smartphone. By doing so, you will not be reminded by every update to touch and use your smartphone. You can control yourself and use your smartphone only when you want to use it and not when some random person has sent you a message on any social media.
Cyberbullying is not very uncommon. Around 15% of children are affected via one or the other form of cyberbullying. You must track the internet and social media usage of your teens without affecting their privacy. They must be guided about the appropriate use of such platforms and their pitfalls.
Addiction to porn
Easy availability of sexual content is detrimental to mental health. Children are unable to differentiate between the reel and real life. Porn content production is a big business, however, it may negatively affect the confidence, concentration, memory, and career of the youth. Individual addicted to porn remain cut off from reality and suffers in personal and sexual relationships. Students addicted to porn may also be addicted to porn.
More and more people are being duped for their hard-earned money online. There are cyber-criminal gangs working overtime to harm you and steal your money from bank accounts. It negatively impacts your mind and body as well as general wellbeing. It is a fallacy that only less educated individuals can be trapped online, however, well-educated and well-versed with financial products also suffer from cyber fraud. Cyber fraud is like an accident on road and anybody can be a victim even after your alertness. Therefore, it is always advisable to be extra cautious while doing financial transactions. Even after technology upgrades and checks and balances, criminal are able to find new ways to ham you.
Dealing with smartphone addiction
Dealing with smartphone addiction smartly is the need of the hour. You should try to understand the early signs of addiction and take corrective measures. The following are the early signs of addiction-
- Urge to use the phone
- A sensation of phone vibration even when the phone is not ringing (Phantom vibrations)
- Unable to control yourself from excessive use
- Lying about smartphone use
- Trouble in completing duties at work, school or home
- Angry or irritated if phone use is interrupted
- Feeling stressed
- Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
- A feeling of lack of connection
- Withdrawing from social interactions, weak or non-existent social life
Awareness and treatments
Being aware of the fallout of the mobile phone addiction and taking appropriate remedial measures at the appropriate time is crucial. There are treatments available to help you kick the digital addiction. If need be, you should not feel shy about taking professional help. You should not let the phone addiction win. The easiest way to check whether you are addicted to your smartphone is to keep your phone switched off for one day in a week and let everyone know that on the particular day, you will not be taking any phone calls. You should enjoy your day without a phone, as people used to do 30-40 years back when there were no smartphones.
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