Smartphones are great in so many ways but, like many technologies, they’re a double-edged sword. The downside? We’re becoming so reliant on them that both our physical and mental health is suffering. We now face a situation where both cell phone addiction and EMF exposure are constantly increasing. What will this mean for the future?
Recent reports provide some alarming insights into our nation’s smartphone habits. It may be time to ask yourself: Are your cell phone habits putting your health at risk? And if so, what can you do about it?
We’ll look at ways to minimize harm to you and your family—without having to completely ditch your smartphones—later in this post. But first…
Are We Becoming Addicted To Our Smartphones?
Cell phones have become such an essential part of our lives that statistics on their usage are easy to come by. But they can be difficult to swallow.
Take the 2019 report by Common Sense Media which looked at cell phone use in teenagers and their parents.
45% of parents reported feeling addicted to their mobile devices.
In 2016, less than a third of parents said they spent too much time on their mobile devices. That number has now risen to more than half. The number of children who think their parents are addicted to their smartphones also jumped.
Both kids and parents report that cell phone addiction impacts their family relationships.
But that’s not the only thing that’s suffering. Consider the impact on sleep.
According to the same report, 36% of teens wake up at least once during the night to check their phone. And 29% of teens sleep with their mobile device in the bed with them.
This is worrying on several fronts. One is that sleep quality is crucial to health, especially in young people. Studies already show that light from screens interferes with melatonin production and decreases sleep quality. When “fear of missing out” keeps teenagers checking their phones before bed and during the night, it’s bound to have adverse effects on their health.
What’s more, keeping their phones in bed means they’re being exposed to electromagnetic radiation, at close distances, 24/7 without a break.
For developing brains and bodies, this is particularly worrisome.
What Are The Health Effects Of Smartphone Overuse?
The longer we spend glued to our smartphones, the longer the list of negative health effects that emerge as a result. These health effects are both physical and mental.
For example, a study of teens found that holding a phone up to their head damaged their memory. As well, smartphones have been linked to slower thinking, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Constant tapping, scrolling and typing can cause wrist pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis of the hands and fingers (so common to have earned the nickname “text claw”).
Even the simple act of looking down at your phone is the equivalent of supporting a 60 pound weight with your neck—not an easy thing on your spine (to put it lightly).
But perhaps the biggest health concern of all is our growing exposure to electromagnetic radiation.
Though cell phone radiation has already been linked to increases in certain types of cancers, issues with fertility and more, the long-term effects will only become fully apparent as the current generation of smartphone users ages.
Cell Phone Addiction and EMF: Exposure Is Cumulative
So how much time in total do we spend on our mobile devices? Most sources put daily average use by US consumers at between 3 and 5 hours per day. And according to BankMyCell the average smartphone user, per day, checks their device at least 47 times.
Now consider that these habits are being formed from an increasingly young age.
A study on the lives of Generation Z found that 25% had a smartphone before the age of 10.
If the trends in the statistics above continue, more of them will have their phones right next to their bodies all day and all night, even as they sleep. And more of them will be addicted to their devices by the time they reach adulthood.
Their cumulative exposure to electromagnetic fields will be unprecedented.
And that’s without even taking into account their constant exposure to ambient EMFs like wifi networks and the impending rise of 5G “small cell” towers.
What Can You Do To Protect Your Health?
All of this is not to suggest that your cell phone is trying to kill you and you should throw it out the window.
What we want to point out is that smartphone use is increasing. Many people now feel that they can’t live without their mobile devices.
And it’s well-known that cell phones lead to health problems.
Put two and two together and the outcome is simple to predict. Increased use of cell phones equals an increase in health problems.
So what can you do to protect yourself? Firstly, limit your cell phone use.
- Turn off unnecessary notifications. Stop apps from prompting you to check your phone more than you need to.
- Whenever possible, keep your phone away from your body. Putting it across the room has the double advantage of distancing you from radiation and making it less tempting to use it so much.
- Don’t sleep with your phone next to your head. Or if you do, turn it onto airplane mode so it’s not emitting radiation.
- Set some guidelines for device use at home and/or with family. For example, make it a rule not to use devices during mealtimes.
And finally, get some EMF protection.
Reality is, even if you can prevent “text claw” by typing less, it’s near impossible to avoid the increasing number of electromagnetic fields that exist all around us.
Consider the SYB Silver Silk Bandana: it looks just like a stylish silk scarf, so no-one would know it’s actually deflecting 99.9% of radiation away from your head or neck. Even with your phone held right to your ear, your skull and brain can be protected.
With cell phone addiction and EMF exposure both on the rise, the amount of radiation we absorb is increasing exponentially with each generation. That’s why protecting both yourself and your family is worth it.
Start now. Your future self will thank you for it.