We can’t live without it, carry it with us everywhere and can’t seem to put it down. We all love our smartphone and touch this little device 2617 a day if we are an average user and 5427 times a day when we are a heavy user [1]. You can imagine that using something as intensive as our smartphones will have consequences. We’ll tell you everything about what happens when you use your smartphone too much in this article.

Smartphone Too Much

1. You start feeling restless

Constant notifications, checking your email, receiving phone calls: our digital life distracts us all the time. You might feel pressured to be on call all the time and respond to messages immediately.

The restlessness that comes with being an over-active smartphone user can become enormously stressful.

Psychologists even call receiving constant notifications on your phone ‘a toxic form of stress.’ [2]

If you are feeling restless and distracted all the time, your smartphone use can be the problem.

 

2. Negative changes in your body occur

Using your smartphone too much leads to a myriad of health problems. It can result in:

Eye problems

When you focus on your screen for more extended periods of time, you tend to forget to blink your eyes. Your eyes will get dry and can feel strained. Using your smartphone for long periods of time can cause headaches and even myopia (short-sightedness) in children and young adults [3].

Sore neck and back

Spine surgeons see an increase in neck and upper back pain because of smartphone use. They even report on young patients having hernias and disk alignment problems [4].

You getting a sore neck from using your smartphone has everything to do with the angle of your neck. When we use our phones we hold our necks at an angle of around 45 degrees. This is a significant problem because it places an enormous strain on your neck causing spine curvature which results in a so-called ‘text neck’.

If we look forward and our neck is in a neutral position, our head weighs around 10-12 pounds. If we hold our head at a 45 degrees angle, the force on our neck is a whopping 49 pounds!

This is what happens when you use your smartphone too much
Source: Sagewood Wellness

Repetitive strain injury (RSI)

If you’ve ever experienced a sore wrist, elbow or shoulder after using your smartphone for hours a day, you know how bad RSI can feel. When you use your phone a lot, ‘smartphone pinky’ and ‘text thumb’ are real threats.

RSI can become a severe problem if you don’t take measures when it first appears. Be careful not to grip your phone too tight and use all your fingers when texting, not only your thumb. And the more obvious solution: step away from your phone more often and for longer periods of time!

Sleep problems

If you use your phone right before you fall asleep, you are not alone. 35% of US smartphone users use their phone up to 5 minutes before going to sleep [5]. Using your phone right before catching some zzz’s is a bad idea because the blue light emitted by your phone disrupts your sleep. Blue light stimulates your brain and suppresses melatonin (this hormone should increase around bedtime) [6]. Having trouble falling and staying asleep are the unfortunate results.

3. You stop enjoying being in the present

Have you been on holiday lately? What was the first thing you did when you arrived at your hotel? We guess it was asking for the WiFi password.

I traveled quite a bit, and I am a little ashamed of all the time I spend on my phone while staying in some of the most beautiful places in the world. When you’re glued to your screen, you forget how nice it is to be in the moment and soak up all the fun and beauty during your travels or everyday life.

If you share your life online via Facebook, Instagram or any other social media platform, you might be occupied with shooting the best photo to share with your followers.

This can cause you to forget how to enjoy all those wonderful moments when you are in restaurants, beautiful places in the world, spending time with your kids or enjoying a romantic beach stroll with your spouse.

Smartphone use

 

4. You are compromising your relationships with friends, family, your spouse or kids

Are you that person who’s on their phone when enjoying time with your friends or family? Did you know that there is a word for tis behavior? What you’re doing is called ‘phubbing.’ It comes from the words ‘phone’ and ‘snubbing.’

“Focusing on your phone in a social setting is known as ‘phubbing.’ ” [7]

Characteristics of people who tend to ‘phub’ are:

  • They have a low level of self-control
  • A high level of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
  • They score higher on the scale for internet and smartphone addiction

Research shows that people with a ‘phubbing’ partner are less happy with their relationship. The more you phub, the less satisfied your partner is [8].


5. You are missing out on nice activities for yourself

There is nothing wrong with browsing the internet or checking up on your social media. But when you use your smartphone too much, you start wasting time online at the cost of doing nice things for yourself.

We spend an average of 130 minutes a day online. Let that sink in for a moment. Maybe you occasionally complain about not having enough time to eat healthily, go to the gym, spend time on your hobbies or go out with friends.

What if you would have 130 minutes a day at your disposal to do all these great things for yourself? Wouldn’t that be amazing!

Taking care of yourself is essential. It’s more important than seeing what your neighbor had for dinner at that fancy restaurant her husband took her. More important than checking your email 734639 times a day.

 

Did you enoy reading this article? Share it!