Updated: Apr 17, 2021
Let's play a game: the next time you're out with a group of friends or on a date, measure how long it will be before someone picks up their phone to look at them. The problem with constantly looking at our devices is both social and physiological.
The average human head weighs between 10 and 12 pounds and when we put our necks to Write bend or check Facebook, gravity on the head and tension on the neck increase to as much as 60 pounds of pressure.
This common position, prevalent in everyone from commoners to presidents, results in a gradual loss of curvature of the cervix Countless people and the way we tilt our heads have been linked to other health risks as well, according to a report published last year in The Spine Journal.
Posture affects mood, behavior, and memory, and bending can often lead to depression, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The amount of oxygen our lungs can hold, body language, perception of weakness versus strength - all of this is real and can be affected by our body posture.
The remedy can be ridiculously simple - just sit upright. Social psychologists say that even standing in a certain posture with your head and shoulders raised back can increase the flow of testosterone and cortisol to the brain, preventing most of the above factors. Why don't we pay attention to these signs? It can be a simple case of rejection.
The problem is involuntary blindness.
About 75% of people believe smartphone use doesn't affect their ability to be attentive in a group, according to the Pew Research Center, and about a third of people believe that using phones on social networks actually helps them talk more.
But is it so? Etiquette experts and sociologists definitely agree: No.
This "always-on" behavior, to which smartphones contribute, distances us from our reality, according to experts. Our communication skills and manners have also collapsed. But ironically, most of us might not see ourselves that way.
A 2010 study found that adolescents between the ages of 8 and 18 spend more than 7.5 hours a day consuming media. Since then, our digital addictions have shaped our lives in some ways: In 2015, the Pew Research Center reported that 24% of them teenagers are "almost constantly" online.
Adults are no better: Most adults spend 10 or more hours a day consuming electronic media, according to Nielsen Total Audience Report. The National Security Council reports that cell phone use makes drivers more accident-prone than drunk driving. 1.6 million accidents occur every year, mainly among 18 to 20-year-olds. One in four accidents in the US is caused by text messages and phone calls while driving.
University of Michigan researchers say empathy has declined as narcissism skyrocketed and emotional development, confidence, and health affect us by bending our chins and dangling our heads like ostrich heads.
A former senior official of Facebook, Sean Parker, once said Social media platforms were designed to be addictive and "require as much time and conscious attention as possible," which defined a self-esteem boost that is still present in the dopamine shot of the same. "It literally changes your relationship with society," he said. It probably affects productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it's's doing to our children's brains.
You are probably reading this post on a mobile device right now. (As long as you're not behind the wheel, you are fine.) We're not here to tell you to throw away your iPhone and get rid of digital media. However, like many other addictions, the first step in treatment is to admit your problem.
Try Interacting with People
Digital detox has never been more popular, but it is not a panacea and realistically there is no black and white solution. The simplest answer for all of us is biblical: for others - or maybe without been glued to your smartphone.
Next time you're at the checkout or come across a red light, take a look around. How many people are you really with? Ignoring people you are hanging out with is rude. Ignore them for virtual friends or distant friends on your device. It seems so obvious that it borders on stupidity.
Young or old, we are all a generation of literal test cases: etiquette, manners, body language, how we react, interact, and even how we look changes. All we need to do is raise our heads up moving our eyes away from the smartphones and instead take a look at life happening around us.