Why your phone is damaging your brain
Do you have a phone addiction? If this is the case, you are not alone. It's challenging to go a day without utilizing some technological gadget in today's environment. According to an app that measures phone usage, we look at our phones an average of 58 times daily. This is causing brain damage. While there are several advantages to utilizing technology, there are also certain risks associated with excessive use. The damage that phone addiction may bring to our brains is one of the most frightening.
People, like any addiction, tend to use their phones more and more and then find it difficult to stop. Constantly carrying our phones might cause anxiety if we leave them at home or in the car by accident. Smartphone separation anxiety has been discovered as a serious source of stress that can trigger dread and fear of missing out. It stems from our increasing reliance on our phones for communication, information, directions, and reminders of what we are meant to accomplish that day. Nomophobia, or the dread of not always having our phone with us, has been given a name. Furthermore, concerns about a low battery, insufficient data or credit, and inadequate network coverage have prompted anxiety and even panic attacks.
We live in an age of immediate pleasure. As a result, another type of anxiety associated with smartphone use is the feeling you get when you send a message to someone and they don't respond right away or when there aren't enough “Likes” or comments on your newest social media post. On the other side, you have the impression that you should answer communications immediately but don't want to. This might generate anxiety as a result of guilt. All of this may seem trivial, but it produces worry in many individuals, which has harmful repercussions on the brain.
Over half of all eleven-year-old American youngsters own a smartphone. This is alarming since by age twelve, youngsters use their phones for slightly under five hours per day, rising to more than seven hours per day in teens. The first thing that comes to mind as a source of concern is that these children are playing games on their phones than outside. Physical activity promotes brain health, improves mood, attention, and concentration, and increases energy. When we use our cell phones, we tend to hop from one activity to the next, from one screen to the next, and from one program to the next. A study of this loss of attention when using cell phones discovered that it damages brain growth. Furthermore, excessive screen usage might cause the brain's outer layer to thin. This brain damage was discovered in the preliminary findings of research that followed the smartphone use of 11,000 youngsters for a decade. Observing how much damage these children's brains have sustained after 10 years will be intriguing.
In addition to worry, phone addiction can result in sleep deprivation, depression, transient memory loss, headaches, dizziness, and exhaustion. All of these things can harm the brain or impair its function.
Mobile phones prevent us from concentrating correctly. We insist on having them around so that even while we are working or attempting to focus on anything else, we are disturbed if we hear an alert. We wonder who has messaged us, what is going on on social media, and whether we have an email that has to be answered. According to one research, even when we are not using our smartphones, they demand our attention and make us uneasy.
Using a cell phone also promotes mental laziness. It's tempting to “Google” anything when you want to learn something new. This, however, does not allow you to exercise your grey matter. “Use it or lose it,” as the old adage goes.
Smartphone use can potentially harm our brains by causing sadness. We only post good events and news on social media. We may also use technology to apply filters to our images to make us appear immaculate. This, however, might be interpreted as living a great life, looking stunning, and loving every second of it. When people view these messages on a regular basis, it can make them feel inadequate, diminish their self-esteem, feel lonely, and feel as if they are missing out, all of which can contribute to depression. Worryingly, smartphone internet use can drive people, particularly adolescents, to self-harm or even commit suicide. This is a very concerning component that has the potential to harm the brain by creating psychological and emotional anguish. Having said that, one research found that being sad actually pushes people to utilize social media to seek validation in the form of likes or comments.
The Dangers of Blue Light
We've all heard that excessive screen time is hazardous for our eyesight. But did you know that the blue light emitted by screens can also be harmful to our brain health? Blue light is a kind of light wave generated by mobile phones and other devices with screens, such as laptops, tablets, and televisions. Some blue light exposure can really be advantageous since it can help us stay alert. However, too much of it might be harmful to our brains.
Blue light can have a deleterious influence on the brain function in a variety of ways. For starters, blue light has been proven to inhibit melatonin synthesis, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep cycles. This implies that exposure to blue light before bedtime might make it considerably more difficult to fall asleep and sleep well. Inadequate sleep can impair the brain's focus, mood, response time, and memory. Blue light has also been found to raise cortisol levels, the stress hormone. This, along with sleep disruption, can result in feelings of worry and even sadness.
So, how do you shield your brain from blue light? You may prevent blue light on your phone by downloading applications or purchasing specific coverings to place on the phone screen. If you use spectacles, request that your optician apply a blue light filter to the lenses. You may also get non-prescription blue-light-blocking glasses.
It is critical to be aware of the hazards and make efforts to decrease your phone usage. Here are some suggestions for detoxing from your phone addiction while still protecting your brain.
Limit your screen time.
Limiting your screen time is one of the most effective methods to lower your chances of acquiring a phone addiction. Set aside specified times of the day when you are not permitted to use your phone. This might imply putting it away between meals or before going to bed. You might also try setting and sticking to a daily limit for yourself. Using an app like Rescue Time will allow you to see how much time you spend on your phone. Put yourself in command of your phone rather than the other way around.
Take breaks from your phone.
It's also crucial to take phone breaks throughout the day. This will assist you in avoiding getting overly dependent on it and will allow your brain to relax. Try searching for information in a book rather than on the internet, or solving a crossword puzzle rather than playing an online game.
Only use your phone for specific tasks.
When you do use your phone, make an effort to be deliberate about it. Use it for specific activities and then put it away when finished. This will prevent you from wasting time reading through social media or playing games when you could be doing something else. This will be made easier if you delete social media from your phone. You must then log into your laptop to check it.
Be mindful of your phone usage.
It's also critical to be aware of how you're using your phone. Are you utilizing it to remain in touch with loved ones or escape your life? If you find yourself using your phone in harmful ways, it may be time to reduce your usage. Rather than communicating with your friends and family over social media, go see them in person.
Mobile phones have a place in society and appear to be here to stay. However, you should be aware of how much time you spend on your phone. Although old age may seem far away, using your phone excessively when you are young might have major consequences for your brain's health. You've been forewarned!
- Screen time stats 2019: Here’s how much you use your phone during the workday https://blog.rescuetime.com/screen-time-stats-2018/
- Phone Separation Anxiety And Treatment https://advantagementalhealthcenter.com/phone-separation-anxiety-and-treatment/
- Scientists Study Nomophobia—Fear of Being without a Mobile Phone https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientists-study-nomophobia-mdash-fear-of-being-without-a-mobile-phone/
- Influence of Smartphone Use on Emotional, Cognitive and Educational Dimensions in University Students https://www.researchgate.net/publication/343697254_Influence_of_Smartphone_Use_on_Emotional_Cognitive_and_Educational_Dimensions_in_University_Students
- Is texting making you anxious? Here's what it means https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/de-stress/is-texting-making-you-anxious-heres-what-it-means/articleshow/87736729.cms
- The Common Sense Census: media use by tweens And teens https://www.commonsensemedia.org/sites/default/files/research/report/2019-census-8-to-18-full-report-updated.pdf
- The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm
- Impact of Smartphones on Society https://bit.ly/3CpbUNw
- Ground-breaking study examines effects of screen time on kids https://www.cbsnews.com/news/groundbreaking-study-examines-effects-of-screen-time-on-kids-60-minutes/
- Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/691462
- The brain in your pocket: Evidence that Smartphones are used to supplant thinking https://bit.ly/3E7l56v
- The FOMO Is Real: How Social Media Increases Depression and Loneliness https://www.healthline.com/health-news/social-media-use-increases-depression-and-loneliness
- The role of online social networking on deliberate self-harm and suicidality in adolescents: A systematized review of literature https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6278213/
- Does Social Media Use Increase Depressive Symptoms? A Reverse Causation Perspective https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.641934/full
- Blue light has a dark side https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side
- What Lack of Sleep Does to Your Mind https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/emotions-cognitive
- The Effects of Red and Blue Lights on Circadian Variations in Cortisol, Alpha Amylase, and Melatonin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2905913/
- What are Sleep Disorders? https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/sleep-disorders/what-are-sleep-disorders
- 5 apps which help reduce the harmful blue light that emanates from smartphones https://www.digitalinformationworld.com/2018/08/applications-which-help-reduce-harmful.html
- Best Blue-Light-Blocking Screen Protectors https://www.healthline.com/health/best-blue-light-screen-protectors
- 8 Best Blue Light Glasses of 2022, Tested by Health Experts https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/a20707076/blue-light-glasses/
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