What your Smartphone addiction is actually costing you


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Click image to see the evolution of the smartphone

You cannot live without it. You think you need it all the time.

You feel anxious when you do not have it. You feel lost when it is not in your hands.

Ninety-one percent of American adults and 60 percent of teens own the device causing an addiction similar to drug abuse, according to telegraph.co.uk.

Smartphone addiction is sweeping the nation and like any addiction, there are various physical and psychological side effects.

One in five people in the world are likely to experience the new syndromes associated with excessive smartphone use, according to Good House Keeping

  1. Computer Vision Syndrome is a side effect from staring at tiny text on a bright LED screen while scrolling through newsfeeds and other things causing you to strain your eyes, which results in blurred vision, dizziness, headaches and dry eyes. smart phone 2

More than 70 percent of Americans do not know or are in denial that they are susceptible to digital eyestrain, according to The Vision Council.

Jacqueline Jacobson, a senior accounting major, said she has experienced computer vision syndrome often during her 12-hour workdays often spent in front of a computer screen.

I spend a lot of time on my computer and kindle which causes me to feel many of the symptoms commonly associated with computer vision syndrome,” she said. “I have experienced severe headaches for years and have started seeing a neurologist about this occurring issue.”

Dr. Bruce Benz, chair of the School of Natural & Social Sciences, said that the effect of computer vision syndrome on vision our warrant for our consideration.

“Since the invention of the television this has been a potential threat,” he said. “Like the baby boomers for instance, who have already experienced this. It is no surprise that millennials would suffer from something similar with their smartphones.”

Especially now that we have started reading on illuminated screens, Benz said.

“But studying this would be a hard thing to do,” he said. “You would first have to weed out cause from effect to isolate the situation to determine whether or not the effects are caused from this specific action.”

2.iposture and Text Neck, two common phrases used by physicians, is caused from hunching over your smartphone for hours and strains the back and neck muscles.smart phone 3

According to a 2012 study, by the Pew Research Center, 70 percent of people check their smartphone within an hour of getting up, 56 percent check their phone within an hour of going to sleep and 51 percent check continuously during vacation.

There are many people suffering from posture from watching TV so this could be true for smartphone use, said Benz.

“I do not disagree that excessive smartphone use could have long term repercussions that could change the world we live in, Benz said.  “I think some of these syndromes are possible but are they widely experienced.”

3. Text Claw, which causes all of your fingers to cramp and muscles to become sore, is a direct result of continuous scrolling and texting on your cell phone.smart phone 4

This syndrome sounds like a euphemism of wanting to have something associated with cell phone use, Benz said.

“I have never heard of this,” he said.

4. Cell phone elbow, similar to tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome causes inflammation in your tendons. According to orthopedic specialists bending your elbow for an excessive amount of time to your ear while talking on your phone shuts off the blood supply to important nerves, causing a tingling or numbness sensation in the ring and pinky fingers and damaging essential nerves in your arm.smart phone 5

The average American will spend 144 minutes a day on their phone in a 16-hour period, according to Morningside Recovery Rehabilitation Center.

Excessive anything can cause problems, but sometimes people are looking for something that is not there, Benz said.

“When you are complaining about these kinds of problems and you want to find out is these symptoms are the results of the activity you must exclude all other similar activity that can influence the same effect,” he said. “Cell phone elbow could be the result of many other things such as driving or excessively looking at your watch.”

5. Phantom Pocket Vibration Syndrome, an imaginary vibration felt near the pocket, where cellphones are typically stored, causes people to believe their phone vibrated with an incoming message or notification when their phone never truly vibrated.smart phone 6

A study published in 2012 by Psychology Today found that among 290 undergraduates, 89% of them had experienced phantom phone vibrations.

Chinmay Solanki, sophomore liberal studies major, said he experiences Phantom Pocket Syndrome often.

“Sometimes when I am sitting I am sitting in class and my phone is on silent in my pocket I feel a vibration in my leg and I pull my phone out to check and see if I got a message,” he said. “But there is no message or notification. It never even went off.”

6. Nomophobia, a term coined in by a British researcher in 2008, to describe the fear of being without your smart phone causing people to experience overwhelming negative feelings, anxiety and panic when they do not have their smartphones.smart phone 8

“66 percent of Americans adults suffer from “nomophobia,” according to Psychology today.

A whopping 13 percent more than Britain the 53 percent of mobile phone users in Britain suffering from the disease, according to Psychology today.

The new phobia is becoming more and more common among smartphone users, especially young people according to The Morningside Recovery Center, which founded the first recovery group for those affected by nomophobia.

Seventy-seven percent of people in the 18 to 24 age group revealed to have nomophobia, according to The Morning Side Recovery center.

Ali Khan, freshmen business management major, said he cannot stand being without his cellphone and has panicked a few times when he lost his smartphone.

“I do not like to lose my phone because I feel like I cannot contact people,” he said. “I was so worried that my mother was not going to be able to get ahold of me last time I lost my phone,” he said.

Khan, an international student from India, said he always has his phone near or around him.

“I feel like my cellphone is my life,” Khan said. “It is so important. It helps me connect with everyone. Especially my family back home.”

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