Aren’t we all slaves to our devices? Don’t we treat phones as our extended arm? Aren’t we 24/7 glued by side to our phones? Our phones accompany us everywhere. All the more, in the new era that COVID has thrust us into it’s impossible to live without our gadgets. Some are expected to work from their homes and other study. Women especially have opened their home based businesses on social media platforms like clothing, bakery, thrift store, live classes, teaching everything etc. Some are also doing distance courses to boost their career prospects. They have become tech savvy and are no longer dependent on their spouses. Feels empowering, right?
Any new skill you wish to learn or researching on a topic or maybe perhaps reading news, everything is just a few clicks away. It has eliminated the need to go to library or a face-to-face class as one can easily find pdfs of books online. One can get the best deal on clothes without spending hours at malls. Food is delivered to our doorstep within minutes of ordering it. Hotels, Flight tickets, concert bookings have been made easier. Where one had to wait for hours to get tickets it is easily done while sitting at home.
On one hand we have countless benefits but on the other there is a dark side to it too. Phones have connected us to the world far and wide. But in pursuit of that we have ignored the ones who are with us. We have forgotten to live in the moments and enjoy with them instead we are glued to our phones. This has seriously impacted our health as well.
The adverse effect of phones on our health can be categorized into physical and mental impact. Let’s uncover all the impacts it has on our health one by one:
Phones and gadgets have an adverse effect on our physical health and makes us unfit and lazy. Here are some of them listed below-
› Even if one does nothing but use phone all day, they feel physically drained, lethargic and restless.
› Long hours in front of screen can lead to eye strain, redness around eyes, watery eyes, blurred vision and headache.
› It leads to obesity due to lack of exercises.
› Being crooked on phone all the time can lead to severe neck and back pain.
› Our posture is also adversely affected leading to endless discomforts and can manifest itself into a serious problem at a later stage.
› Children do not go out to play anymore which seriously hampers their skill and motor development.
› It is known to change our reaction time as well.
› The radiation from phones raises our body temperature.
› Using gadgets while eating keeps us distracted and oversee the nutrient content.
Psychological and Mental Impact
Phones have a huge impact on our mental and psychological well-being. We all have experienced it in our lives as well. Here are some of the effects it has on our mental and psychological health-
› Continuously being on the phone can slow down our brain.
› The Social Dilemma, a Netflix documentary showed that more and more teenage girls are falling in depression than they were before social media apps existed. These girls also suffered from low self-esteem, body image issues and various eating disorders.
› The phone takes a hold on our head and one feels like checking it all the time.
› Being on phone also disturbs our sleep schedule and leads to insomnia.
› Even though we are connected with everyone, we feel lonely and misunderstood all the time.
› People who spend a lot of time on their phones become cranky, annoyed and aggressive.
› It steals you from your empathy and one becomes very passive.
› Posting on social media handles gives us short term happiness and acceptance and so we do it more and more. It leaves us in self-doubt and upsets us when we don’t receive that attention. This makes our happiness dependent on others’ validation and when we don’t receive we become unhappy.
› During these times, when students are studying from their devices, admit it leaves their brain foggy and makes learning a oneway process. With no social interaction, our brain goes into following a monotonous schedule.
› It influences our opinions to a large extent make us question our uniqueness or aspects in which we are different from others thus, deepening the feeling of vulnerability and social exclusion.
› It kills creativity as we are spending all our time on phones and unintentionally influences how our brain works.
Phones have latched on to our lives and become our lifeline. It may have eased our life a gazillion times in carrying long and arduous tasks but the reality is we have become unhappier and physically unfit.
Now, we cannot go back and stop using phones entirely because it is a necessity for today’s world as well, but we can control its adverse impact to a certain extent by working on and reducing our addiction to it. If not, then that day is not far when we people might need to go to rehabilitation center to get rid of their pone addiction. There is a need to restrict usage of phones and focus on taking care of ourselves because what is phone but a series of never ending distractions. Binge watching is fine until it is all what you are doing day in and day out. Checking phone the very first thing in the morning distorts your positive thought pattern for the day. We become distracted from our tasks and goals and end up procrastinating a lot. This affects our productivity and work life as well. Our relationships suffer because we are too busy texting, chatting and updating the virtual world of what’s new or what’s happening in our lives. Adverse effects of phones do not happen overnight but develop gradually and are clearly visible in the long run.
Keep a check on your screen time and eradicate the unnecessary time you spend on phone. Pay attention to your thought patterns and what influences it. Participate in social gatherings and spend more time with real people than the virtual ones. This is perhaps the only solution to not be mentally and physically ill because as we all know ‘prevention is better than cure’.