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Who Wears the Pants, You or Your Phone?


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In this day and age teenagers, kids, and adults alike all show a certain attachment to their phones, but is this attachment healthy? Technology, especially in phones, has advanced at an insane rate in the past fifteen, ten, and five years. You carry your phone with you everywhere; in your bag, your pocket, your hand. I bet it is within reach of you right now; maybe it is even in your hand. Many people will even take their phone to the toilet with them! As it turns out, the psychological and physical effects of these phones are something to pay attention to, and even be afraid of.

There is no doubt that there are many people all over the world who are addicted to their phones. I used to be addicted to my phone. So what is this addiction, and why is it bad?

Studies have shown that Americans check their phone 80 times a day while on vacation, and some up to 300 times a day otherwise. How often do you check your phone? Have you ever wondered? When you are away from your phone do you feel nervous, detached? How do you feel when you lose it? How far would you go for your phone? Can you live without your phone? You may be addicted.

Psychguides.com in their article called “Signs and Symptoms of Cell Phone Addiction” states these as the signs of cell phone addiction:

  • A need to use the cell phone more and more often in order to achieve the same desired effect.
  • Persistent failed attempts to use cell phone less often.
  • Preoccupation with smartphone use.
  • Turns to cell phone when experiencing unwanted feelings such as anxiety or depression.
  • Excessive use characterized by loss of sense of time.
  • Has put a relationship or job at risk due to excessive cell phone use.
  • Tolerance.
    • Need for newest cell phone, more applications, or increased use.
  • Withdrawal, when cell phone or network is unreachable.
    • Anger.
    • Tension.
    • Depression.
    • Irritability.
    • Restlessness.
      • A need to use the cell phone more and more often in order to achieve the same desired effect.
      • Persistent failed attempts to use cell phone less often.
      • Preoccupation with smartphone use.
      • Turns to cell phone when experiencing unwanted feelings such as anxiety or depression.
      • Excessive use characterized by loss of sense of time.
      • Has put a relationship or job at risk due to excessive cell phone use.
      • Tolerance.
        • Need for newest cell phone, more applications, or increased use.
      • Withdrawal, when cell phone or network is unreachable.
        • Anger.
        • Tension.
        • Depression.
        • Irritability.
        • Restlessness

An individual that suffers from any four of these symptoms can be classified as a cell phone addict.

So why is it bad to be addicted to your phone? Face it, your phone is your social life, your comforter, your best friend, your favorite, and it is something you have with you every single day. It is unhealthy to invest all of these things into a technological device. This causes an inability to connect not only with others but also with yourself. When a person cannot connect with themself because they are too distracted by their phone, they can lose peace.

But not only can your phone cause you harm psychologically, it can also hurt you physically. There is a growing concern (although it is slow) about the radio waves emitted by our cellular devices. These radio waves are a form of electromagnetic radiation, and there is evidence to support that they may be causing issues such as sterilization and terminal problems such as cancer and tumors. Although every phone and individual is different, it is important to take certain precautions to keep yourself safe. Many sources recommend keeping your phone far from your body when in standby mode, sleeping away from your phone at night, limiting cell phone time, keeping calls short, and using a hands free kit to keep your phone further from your head. There are many more tips you can research online. Although The American Cancer Society stated that more research needs to be done in order to form a more complete answer, they stated that “Individuals who are concerned about radiofrequency energy exposure can limit their exposure, including using an ear piece and limiting cell phone use, particularly among children.”

Individuals each have a different situation with their phones; I questioned classmates to get more experiences:

“I normally have my phone with me 24/7. I sleep right next to my phone. I am aware of the possible effects of phone radiation to my body and health. I do think I might be overly attached to my phone. I have made efforts to distance myself from my phone, but they didn’t work. I stayed away from it a whole day once, but kept walking over to it. I wouldn’t want to say addicted, but I would say I am attached. I can stand to be without my phone if I’m mad at someone I am texting.” -Joselynn 12th grade

“I have my phone with me all the time. I sleep three feet from it. I am aware of the dangers of my phone to my health, there is arsenic in every phone. I am not overly attached to my phone; it is a utility tool. A lot of people overuse it, but as a tool it is justified. When I go camping and stuff I leave it away.”-Anonymous 11th grade

“I have my phone with me all day. I sleep fifteen feet from my phone because I don’t like sleeping near it. I am aware of my phone’s possible harm to my health. I do not feel attached to my phone. I have it with me always just in case of emergency. I have made several efforts to distance myself from my phone.”-Anonymous 11th grade

I personally have noticed many improvements in my emotional, psychological, and mental health since I began separation from my phone. I deleted all my social media, stopped surfing the web, watching YouTube, and began sleeping at least five feet away from my phone (and now roughly twenty five feet). I would like to start practicing even more precautions to protect myself. I only use my phone now for music and to contact people, as well as occasionally taking pictures. I recently broke my phone beyond repair the day before a two week vacation. I did not have a phone the entire time. I felt extremely free and enjoyed my vacation more than I could have if I had my phone.

 

 

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Who Wears the Pants, You or Your Phone?