smartphone
Smartphone models. Affordable smartphones and declining mobile data plans have been factors that have driven growth in mobile subscriptions. Credit: File.

The use of smartphones has really soared with time; they allow us to stay connected, organized and entertained. They can track what we eat, our exercise goals and our sleep patterns. They log our shopping lists, our travel details and our spending habits.

Has the increase in usage led to negative effects? Definitely yes and here is how:

1. Serious Addiction

Despite what some may think, smartphone addiction is a very real phenomenal.

It has been found that three out of five smartphone users can’t go more than 60 minutes without checking their phones. Experts say our brains get a hit of dopamine and serotonin – the chemicals linked to happiness – when our phones beep or ring. These are the same chemicals that give drug users their ‘high’!

A condition called nomophobia (the fear of being without your mobile device) is now recognized as a serious issue that up to serious levels require rehabilitation.

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2. Painful withdrawal

Just like with addictive drugs, withdrawal from cellphones comes with serious withdrawal effects. Most of the addicted users when withdrawn from their smartphone use experience significant mental and physical distress, panic, confusion and extreme isolation.

3. Anxiety and depression

Most of the smartphone users spend a lot of time staring at the screen waiting for interactions from friends and others users. The longer one waits for the interactions the more they will feel depressed. Much time is also spent on smartphones playing games instead of other health impactful exercises such as taking a walk around.

READ: What to do if your smartphone drops in water

4. A source of bacteria

A recent research study found that the average smartphone has 10 times the amount of bacteria that is found on a toilet seat.

Most of the time, people would clean the known dirty surfaces like the toilet seat and never even give a wipe to the phone.

5. Attention span

When Twitter caps the characters used to 140 it is not just a rule, it is up to a point on the need to catch the ever reducing level of attention span among users. Even though a smart phone gives the space for multi-tasking, texting or calling are big distractors. Just a sight of a phone is enough distractor in a social set up.

6. Social effects

This has been talked about severally but it seems to always be on an upward trend. The smartphones makes several of its users not to be able to engage in deep meaningful personal conversations.

Related: Simple ways to beat social media addiction

The level of trust among smartphone users in a relationship is always at low levels as most prefer to spend time staring at the screens of their phones rather than spending quality time with the partners.

7. Indirect injuries

The usage of smartphones has led to several injuries, like many road accidents are attributed to distractions on drivers who use smartphone while on the wheel.

8. Hearing problems

Hearing problems does not necessarily come from texting or calling, rather it is from the regular use of earphones. Listening to loud music over a long period will lead to hearing problem over a period time.

9. Stress

Having a smartphone the user is always available to take calls, text messages, instant messages, social media notifications and emails. The need to immediately read and respond to every one of these incoming alerts is causing rising stress levels. The stress is serious in some such that they actually begin to experience phantom vibrations, thinking their phone is buzzing when it isn’t!

10. Text claw

Sufferers experience cramped fingers, wrist pain and muscle pain thanks to continuous texting and scrolling on the touchscreen of a smartphone. This happens because of inflammation in the tendons. It can also exacerbate existing inflammation from tendinitis.

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