Advancements in technology often herald fantastic developments related to medicine and longer life expectancy. But sometimes it also means an introduction to a different set of health pitfalls.
The pervasiveness of mobile device use is no exception. While mobile devices mean 24/7 connectivity and entertainment, it also makes many susceptible to…
1. Social media anxiety disorder and social media addiction.
Social media anxiety and addiction continues to grow along with the expansion of social media platforms. Social media anxiety can refer to a wide range of fears one experiences concerning their online presence. Most often, however, it refers to anxiousness one feels that their online actions, or presence, are being judged by others. It can also encompass the fear of missing out, exacerbated by seeing other people’s fun activities.
Social media is an addiction as well and can be just as unhealthy as social media anxiety. Addiction to social media is characterized by considering the online world more important than the real world. Often to the detriment and imbalance of one’s health and emotional stability. According to one CNN report, teens spend on average 9 hours on media a day. What this suggests is a neglect of other activities beneficial to a healthy life. For example, exercise, study, and sleep.
Admitting this is a problem is the first step to a healthier relationship with one’s social media accounts. Spend time with actual people in your life. Call up a friend, and try to focus more on your real life than the digital version.
- Text neck.
Truly an illness of our times, text neck occurs when one has spent too many hours staring down at a screen or a mobile device. Every degree forward and down that the neck is bent adds compounded weight on the spine. What happens next? Pain in the upper back region, along with shoulder tightness. In extreme cases, a cervical nerve could become pinched, causing pain complications in your arm or hand. Early onset arthritis could also result.
Try to balance out your mobile phone use with alternatives. Use a headset when possible. Call up a friend, instead of texting, etc. As soon as you feel tightness along your shoulders, use that to signal your need for a break from your phone.
- Repetitive strain injuries.
It used to be that only typists and checkout workers were at risk, but now, it’s becoming increasingly common for others, too. Repetitive strain injuries can occur in any body part that is overused and not allowed time for recovery. This includes overuse of fingers for swiping, texting, or tapping–all common mobile device activities. Carpal tunnel syndrome may also occur, causing numbness, tingling, and pain in various places in the hand.
As soon as you feel discomfort in your hands or fingers, give yourself a break to allow your muscles time to recover.
- The sitting disease.
We’re sitting more, and it’s not doing us any good. The rise of computer and mobile device use has mainly encouraged us to sit for longer periods, not less. The risks of too much sitting include a greater chance of health complications that include…
- Abnormal cholesterol levels
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood sugar
- Excess body fat
- Certain cancers
If you spend a good portion of your day sitting, focus on adding 5 minutes of intense activity for every hour that you aren’t moving about. Getting up for a break at the top of every hour is a good way to schedule in that time to walk about and stretch.
The Internet and all that it contains can provide us with many needful and useful elements that make our lives easier as a whole. But overuse of mobile devices also come with health hazards. Being aware of the hazards is half the battle won. Stay in tune with your emotional and mental health and you will be doing a large part to protect yourself from these pitfalls.