Your smartphone is slowly killing you
But you don’t care because your tweet is trending.Meryl D'Souza May 25, 2016
A smartphone is the last thing you look at before dozing off and the first thing you look at after waking up.
It doesn’t matter what age group you’re in. Those work e-mails need to be responded to, you need to check those urgent texts and replying to comments left by hordes of faceless Instagram followers takes precedence over everything before your day has even begun.
You’re not some dedicated employee or mini-celebrity. What you are is an addict and a slave at the mercy of your smartphone that’s eating away at your life so discretely, you have no idea it’s happening. According to a study, our smartphone obsession is giving us ADHD-like symptoms.
The study, by the University of Virginia, assessed how 221 college students used their smartphones over a two-week period. They found that when students had notifications turned on – by having their phone on ring or vibrate, for example – they reported ADHD symptoms that include being easily distracted, trouble listening, difficulty focusing and inability to sit in one place, even though they haven’t been diagnosed with the disorder.
"We found the first experimental evidence that smartphone interruptions can cause greater inattention and hyperactivity – symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – even in people drawn from a nonclinical population," said Kostadin Kushlev, lead author of the study.
Before you misinterpret the study to mean something else, Kushlev was quick to say, “Our findings suggest neither that smartphones can cause ADHD nor that reducing smartphone notifications can treat ADHD. The findings simply suggest that our constant digital stimulation may be contributing to an increasingly problematic deficit of attention in modern society."
So even if you're not bothered about how your smartphone is ruining your personal life, then at least think of how it’s damaging your professional one. After all, that’s how you could afford that swanky piece of tech in the first place.
The scary part is that this is not the first time science has warned us about our smartphone habits. Last year, UCL researchers found smartphone use can cause "inattention deafness" where people become "temporarily deaf" because they are focusing on their smartphones rather than what is happening around them.
Even worse, it’s not just the mental struggles we’re reeling from. If you haven’t been paying attention to the news - of course you haven’t you’ve been texting - death by selfie is actually a thing now, and it’s on the rise.
So if the human race doesn’t annihilate itself through wars or destroying the planet, it seems we'll die because we’re too absorbed by our smartphones. That deserves a 'like', right?