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Addictive, never-ending notifications are making us antisocial, app-lobotomised Pokémon-chasing iZombies.
Googling “are smartphones bad for you?” gets 33 million results, most of which answer so affirmatively you’ll be tempted to smash yours against the wall. In terms of negative coverage, they’re right up there with ISIS and the Kardashians.
According to the papers: smartphone use in bed suppresses melatonin, damaging sleep patterns; an obsession with checking your screen can ruin your sex life; mobile-addicted teens suffer anxiety during lulls in notifications; global rates of myopia have soared in recent years; kids ignored by smartphone- glued parents miss out on key developmental interactions, and all that hunching over is bad for your neck and back.
And having the fact-checking resources of the Internet at your fingertips all day long will make you mentally lazy, too.
A 2015 study conducted on 319 students shows a clear link between smartphone overuse and depression, anxiety and/or reduced sleep quality. “However,” says neuroscientist Nicola Ray of Manchester Metropolitan University, “whether smartphone overuse causes these things – or is a result of them – is up for debate.”
SO IS YOUR PHONE KILLING YOU?
Quite possibly, if you use them too much – but have you seen what the world looks like without an Instagram filter?