Thanks to modern technology and advances with cell phone capabilities, you no longer need a camera, an alarm clock, a Rolodex (remember those!?), a journal, a notebook, a diary, a shopping list, a watch, or a music player! These are all great technology improvements and benefits that have occurred over the past decade. While the emergence of the smartphone has had tremendously positive impacts in so many areas, and has helped make the world more connected than ever before, there are unfortunately many negative consequences that have accompanied the evolution of the modern day mobile telephone.
- Addiction – dopamine and serotonin is released when we hear a ping, receive a message, or have a post liked by one of our peers. Do you think you may be addicted to your phone? Check out these signs and symptoms.
- Reduced productivity in the workplace – due to problems associated with number one, addiction, it is very possible that you could spend more time on your phone than you do in face to face interactions. And I’m not just talking about work-related items; answering texts, personal calls, checking Facebook and other social media, as well as news updates coming through almost by the hour can eat up a huge chunk of time each day.
- Dangerous driving and an increased number of accidents – this is something that constantly amazes me. There have been so many senseless deaths and injuries due to cell phone use while driving – so why do people still do it? NOTHING is that important, but if you feel like it is, PULL OVER!
- Poorer social skills – it is so aggravating and rude when you are speaking to someone and their phone rings and all of a sudden it’s like you are no longer there! Why do phones get priority over people?
- Cyberbullying – this is obviously a huge problem, with adults and children alike. Having all social media and communication available to us 24/7 makes this so much easier. If people took the time to think about what they were going to say before they started typing, perhaps the problem wouldn’t be so big, but cell phones do not require that we take that time allowing for immediate, and often rash, responses.
- Increased crime – people always know where you are because you constantly check in or post a picture of your dinner. And how often do you see your friends posting pictures of their children in front of their school? Anyone who wants to find you can do so, at any time.
- Health issues – from minor issues such as back and neck pain due to being hunched over a phone all day to major issues such as cancer, there are a number of health issues associated with cell phone usage that should not be ignored.
- Disruption of sleep – exposure to blue light can cause us to not sleep as well as possible, while constant updates coming through buzzing at us through the night will disrupt our sleep patterns.
- We are always connected – this leads to increased stress as it is nearly impossible to disconnect from work, and the world in general.
- More distracted and less interactive with those around us – it’s amazing to me the number of parents glued to their phones while their kids are playing at the park. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the urge. Your kids are occupied, you have a second to breathe, what a perfect time to check your email! But as we know, it only takes one second for a child to be hurt, or even worse, taken by a stranger! Not to mention, they know when you are focused on your phone instead of them, and we certainly don’t want to give them the impression that a phone is more important than they are.
This is a great video that takes a look at millenials and cell phone usage. I recommend the whole thing, but the cell phone segment begins at 3:20 – take a look!
What problems have you encountered due to increased cell phone usage? Put your thoughts in the comment section below!