It’s pretty easy to get absorbed into our electronic devices. In recent years, smartphones have exploded as to what they can do and show no signs of stopping. You can order lunch, schedule a doctor’s appointment, and do your grocery shopping all within ten minutes, and it’s all from the comfort of your phone.
While smartphones are useful, there are negative side effects of being too plugged into your phone. Here are several reasons why you should step away from your smartphone every now and then.
You don’t spend enough time outdoors
It’s a lot easier to spend time indoors when you’re on your phone. Sure, this could be fine on a rainy or snowy day, but what about when it’s nice and sunny outside?
When we don’t go outside and take in some sunshine, we miss out on a prime source of vitamin D. Going outside has also been linked to increased feelings of happiness, less anxiety, improved sleep quality, and better concentration.
And it’s not like you can’t take your phone outside with you either, just don’t put too much attention into your phone.
Your awareness decreases
Being hooked on to your phone means you are focused on when that next text message or notification is coming. In some cases, this can be excused if you’re waiting for an important message, but for many of us, that’s not usually the case.
We can all probably imagine a time when we were too focused on our phone and missed something important. This could be something like not noticing a closed-door or a “Do Not Cross” sign.
This problem gets magnified when it bleeds into work or other activities that require our full attention, like driving. It’s no wonder distracted driving leads to more than 1,000 people injured in crashes every day.
No one is telling you to give up or abandon your phone, but you should put it down when you’re doing something that requires your full attention.
You put a strain on your eyes
For many of us, we stare at a computer screen from 9 to 5, and it puts quite a strain on our eyes. Staring at our phone doesn’t do our eyes any favors either.
It’d be simple enough if reducing the brightness on our phones was the solution, but digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome can also be caused by the “blue light” transmitted from screens. While the full impact of blue light isn’t known, what is known is blue light is beamed straight to the retina and isn’t filtered by the cornea or pupils.
While you could get glasses to help reduce the strain on your eyes, sometimes it’s just best to put your phone away and give your eyes a break.
You could develop an internet addiction
One of the greatest features of a smartphone is having the internet in the palm of your hands. Unfortunately, having this unlimited access can be detrimental to some and could lead to internet addiction.
People struggling with internet addiction tend to neglect their responsibilities and experience fatigue, lack of sleep, and irritability when not connected to the internet. Their relationships also suffer due to their priority on spending time on the internet.
When it comes to addiction, it’s generally recommended to be abstinent from the addiction behavior of substance, but with the internet, that’s nearly impossible. Instead, it’s recommended to learn how to manage this behavior and address any underlying issues like high anxiety or stress.
Having a smartphone is a great luxury, but we shouldn’t let it consume our lives. Taking time away from our phones helps us lead healthier lives and reminds us to enjoy some of the simpler things in life, like nature.
I am interested in all things technology, especially automation, robotics and tech that helps change how society will live in the future.