See Here How Phone Addiction Becomes Poison for Human Health

Phone Addiction: With the recent emergence of smartphones such as iPhones and Androids, people now have access to all aspects of the Internet anytime and anywhere – more than 90 percent of American adults own at least one cell phone. However, this may not pose a problem for some individuals; others could become addicted.

Cell phones have become an indispensable resource, increasing the risk of addiction and overuse. According to PEW Research, 67% of smartphone owners admit checking for messages or calls even when their phones did not vibrate – an indicator of dependence that should serve as a cautionary signal.

Cell Phone Addiction: Signs and Symptoms

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), 5th edition, does not explicitly address cell phone addiction;

However, research has compared it with gambling addiction, which is more clearly diagnosed and covered within DSM-5.

Cell phone addiction can be defined as at least four of the following symptoms, and must be having significant negative impacts on life:

Our phones have become an indispensable component of daily life, from making business calls and checking email to keeping in touch with loved ones and friends. Does our reliance on smartphones affect our brains in any way?

Recent research indicates this may be true. Experts claim that excessive phone usage could impede our ability to regulate emotions, sleep habits, and social skills.

Experts have raised concerns about the long-term effects of digital devices on children’s development. A study published in JAMA Pediatrics revealed that children’s time looking at digital screens rose by 52% within three years.

How this will impact the development of children is still unknown. Yet, it should be of significant concern to healthcare professionals, mental health practitioners, educators, parents, and anyone who regularly uses mobile phones.

A Glance

You probably use your phone to do everything, from managing your finances to talking to your friends. Some experts believe that this dependence on technology is taking its toll. Some adverse effects include changes in cognitive abilities, social or emotional problems, sleep problems, and mental laziness. There are ways to protect your brain from the adverse effects of using a phone.

Phone Use Can Negatively Affect Cognitive Ability

Recent research has shown that the use of smartphones can affect your brain. But keep in mind that this research is only in its early stages. We know more about the short-term impacts, but the long-term ones are still unknown.

Brain Chemistry Changes

According to the Radiological Society of North America researchers, evidence points towards mobile phone use causing chemical changes in the human brain. A study presented there found that people who exhibit “internet and smartphone addiction” actually displayed imbalances of brain chemistry compared with controls.

These changes could explain why some individuals become addicted to technology while others cannot live without their phones.

Reduced Cognitive Ability

One highly-cited study published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research demonstrated that cognitive ability decreased when smartphones were within reach, even when turned off.

Researchers dubbed this phenomenon the “brain-drain hypothesis.” We tend to utilise our cognitive resources less when information is readily accessible.

Recent meta-analyses also concluded that smartphones were associated with decreased working memory capacity. While the results are consistent with previous findings, more recent analyses suggest this impact may be less pronounced.

Researchers believe FOMO (fear of missing out) could be a part of it. Being distracted by our phones suggests we’re constantly thinking about what’s happening online and what we might miss without using our phones.

If your phone seems to distract you from critical work-related tasks, keeping it visible may not be in your best interests. Consider turning it off or moving it out of sight to complete your goal.

Worse Reading Comprehension

Have you noticed how reading text online differs from reading printed pages? Often, we scan articles to get to their core points quickly – yet according to research evidence; we may need more ability to comprehend what we read online than we do with printed texts.

2020 recently conducted a study that demonstrated the disadvantages of reading on electronic devices like phones – precisely their reduced reading comprehension.

Researchers have not established an exact cause but have observed that people tend to weigh less when using smartphones, possibly linked to increased prefrontal cortex activity and reduced reading comprehension.

The Phone and Social-Emotional Skills

Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine reviewed literature regarding young children using smartphones and iPads in a commentary published by a paediatrics journal.

They caution that using electronic devices to distract and soothe children could hinder their emotional and social development.

Researchers are concerned that children will not develop internal self-regulatory mechanisms if they rely solely on digital devices for distraction.

Experts often compare interactive screen games to physical activities. Cellular phones may become problematic if used instead of engaging in activities designed to develop visual-motor, sensorimotor, and motor skills.

Experts remain concerned that mobile devices could impede child development by interfering with unstructured play and peer interaction, which experts view as crucial in building social and problem-solving skills.

Cell Phone Use Can Lead to Sleep Disruption

Your smartphone or tablet could negatively affect your sleep by engaging with it before bedtime. No, this doesn’t mean you stay up late just browsing email, social media, or playing trivia online – this could be detrimental.

Sleep specialists warn that even after turning off your mobile device, its light can still interfere with your sleeping cycle and cause disrupted REM cycles.

Twelve adult participants participated in a Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences study. They were randomly assigned one of two reading groups – printed books under dim lighting or iPads for four hours every night before sleeping – until switching groups after five nights of reading together.

Researchers discovered that people who used iPads before bed experienced decreased levels of Melatonin, the hormone responsible for inducing sleepiness in the evening. Furthermore, these participants took longer to fall asleep and experienced less REM throughout their nightly rest cycles.

What’s at Fault? Blue light from mobile devices is likely responsible, with light-sensitive proteins found in retinal cells that detect specific wavelengths. Once detected, these light-sensitive neurons return signals to our “clock,” which regulates circadian rhythms.

Blue light is most prominent in the morning as a wake-up signal; red hues become stronger at night to signal relaxation time. Blue lights from mobile devices may throw your sleep-wake cycle off-balance.

Sleep interruptions can have severe repercussions for both mental health and brain function. Poor rest may contribute to mood shifts, anxiety attacks, depression, and brain fog – among other issues.

Think carefully about how using your phone in bed impacts your restful slumber, and pick up a book instead.

We May Be Becoming Mentally Lazy Because Of Our Phones

Mobile devices provide us with information, not simply as entertainment. We no longer memorise numbers or keep Rolodexes on our desks for contact info; all this info can now be stored directly in our phones’ contact lists.

Your iPhone makes searching the Internet and using an iPhone app much more straightforward, making appointments and meetings much simpler to keep track of.

Experts caution against mental laziness caused by overly relying on mobile devices as answers. A study indicates a connection between mental laziness and excessive smartphone usage.

Research suggests that those who rely more on instinct and emotion-based decisions to make decisions often use their smartphones more often.

Researchers have suggested that excessive phone usage could hinder our logical and analytical thinking skills, leading to some questioning whether too much phone usage may lead to decreased intelligence.

There is an urgent need for more research. Experts caution that mobile device usage has outpaced research into its effects.

Scientists and doctors have only just started studying how long-term smartphone usage affects brain activity, with studies underway about both short-term effects (and long-term ones).

Researchers suggest that mobile devices could potentially harm the brain. Yet, we still need to understand how they might benefit it fully.

What Can You Do To Protect Your Brain?

While we may recognize smartphones’ negative impacts on our brains, many still depend on them for accessing vital resources and tools in everyday life.

We can be more intentional about how we interact and use our phones; here are some strategies that may help.

Build Awareness

While we may recognize smartphones’ negative impacts on our brains, many still depend on them for accessing vital resources and tools in everyday life.

We can be more intentional about how we interact and use our phones; here are some strategies that may help.

Set Limits

Setting limits on how much time you spend using your phone can be helpful. Be mindful about using it while considering which methods work best for you.

Some individuals may need to uninstall specific applications from their phones. Others may find it beneficial to utilise phone settings or apps to limit time on certain websites and applications.

Reducing phone usage during certain hours and days may be helpful for some individuals, such as on weekends or after 7 pm, to focus more on family. You could set an intention that all phone use stops between these times or days to allow the family more attention and space.

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  • The need to use a cell phone more or more frequently to achieve the desired result.
  • Persistent attempts to reduce the use of cell phones.
  • Preoccupation with smartphone usage
  • When experiencing anxiety or depression, turn to your cell phone.
  • Excessive use is characterised by a loss of time.
  • A relationship or job has been put at risk because of excessive cell phone usage.
  • Tolerance.
    • You may need a newer cell phone or more applications.
  • Withdrawal is when the cell phone or network cannot be reached.
    • Anger.
    • Tension.
    • Depression.
    • Irritability.
    • Restlessness.

Help is available if you or someone close to you displays these symptoms. Call the number above to speak to a specialist about different recovery options.

Addiction And Its Physical Effects

Cell phones and smartphones can cause various physical problems, some of which may be permanent or difficult to treat.

  • Digital Eye Strain
    • The pain and discomfort can be caused by viewing a digital display for over 2 hours.
    • The eyes begin to itch and burn.
    • Blurred Vision
    • Eye fatigue.
    • Digital Eye Strain is a headache-causing condition.
  • Neck pain
    • Text neck is a term used to describe neck pain caused by too much looking at a cell phone or tablet.
  • Infections are on the rise
    • One in six cell phones contains faecal material.
    • Many phones contain E. coli bacteria that can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, and fever.
  • MRSA has been detected on phones
    • Infections can be life-threatening in the bones, joints, and surgical wounds.
  • Car accidents
    • People think they can multitask while driving and use their phones. Still, it causes severe impairment, putting them and other road users in danger.
    • According to research, texting while driving is just as dangerous as drinking and driving.
  • Male infertility
    • Cell phone radiation has been shown to decrease sperm viability, motility, and count.

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