We are living in 21st century where relationships are mostly gear on New Media, and the most important tool is Mobile phone. It was in the year 1917 Innovator Eric Tigersted of Finnish now, Finland applied a charter for a "Pocket- size folding telephone with a very thin carbon microphone". Moving year and year ahead finally in 2009 Japan launched 3rd generation (3G) on WCDMA standard. At some point, it found that 3G networks would be overwhelmed by the growth of bandwidth-intensive application such as streaming media. Consequently, the industry began looking to data-optimized Fourth-Generation (4G) technology with the promise of speed improvement up to ten-fold over existing 3G technologies. Further it was commercially available technology offered in North America by Sprint which was billed on 4G, WiMAX and the LTE standard, first offered in Scandinavia by Teliasonera. This way the changes took place in mobile generation and now developers are talking about 5th generation and 6th generation.
In today's era Mobile phone has become the most necessary gadget for all the Homo sapiens and they are addicted to it. This common addiction is called nomophobia which means fear of being without mobile phone. People, who suffer from this, appear anxious when the phone battery is low, if cell phone is misplaced or it is out of service and the anxiety is provoked more when the person loss his/her smart phone.
Although cell phones allow individuals to have unlimited access to information and to connect with others in a way otherwise thought impossible, there are many harmful and disturbing effects of smart phone dependence. Cell phone addiction, sometimes referred to as problematic mobile phone use, is a behavioral addiction thought to be similar that of an Internet, Gambling, Shopping or Video game addiction and leads to serve impairment or distress in one’s life.
1. Cell phone addiction linked to Impulsiveness and materialism. A preoccupation with material objects as opposed to intellectual, spiritual, or cultural values.
2. The obsessive use of a Smartphone has been compared to that of credit card misused and compulsive buying.
3. Cell phones have become a representation of social status and thus, there is pressure to own the newest release and to have all of the best application.
4. Problematic cell phones users can develop a social media addiction as well, which has a number of harmful effect on the user such as; Impaired self-esteem, impaired work performance and interpersonal conflicts.
With the widespread accessibility of cell phones at a younger age now, teenagers are especially prone to developing an addiction to their cell phones or social media. Teens are extremely vulnerable to developing a cell phone addiction. The human brain isn’t fully developed until 25 years of age. Adolescents who become dependent on their Smart phones could experience negative alteration in brain development.
There is decreased brain connectivity in teen who suffer from a cell phone addiction.
Problems in the parts of the brain those are responsible for decision-making, impulse-control, and emotional regulation.
Teens with a smart phone addiction are more likely to drink alcohol, use tobacco, and have poor diet.
These teens may experience social isolation due to excessive cell phone use.
There are several signs and symptoms which declare that the person is suffering from nomophobia:
1. Appears anxious when phone battery is low.
2. Panics if cell phone is misplaced or service is unavailable.
3. Spends more time connecting online than connecting with people in real life.
4. Sleeps with the smart phone on or under the pillow.
5. Uses the phone in dangerous situation such as driving.
6. Take cell phone on the table during meal.
7. Believes the cell phone to have rung or vibrated when it hasn’t.
Use of cell phones or smart phone can result in a number of different physical problems that may cause permanent damage or be difficult to treat, which include physical and psychological effect on human.
Physical effects of smart phone addiction include:
1. Digital eye strain - It is the pain and discomfort associated with viewing a digital screen for over 2 hours. Eye begins to burn and itch. Vision appears blurred. It causes eye fatigue and headaches.
2. Neck problems - It is also known as “text neck”, which refers to neck pain resulting from looking down at cell phones for too long.
3. Increased illness due to germs - E.coli bacteria is found in smart phones which cause fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. Phones have been found to be contaminated with Methicillin resistant staphyloloccus aurcus (MRSA), which cause painful abscesses. Life- threatening infections in bones, joints, surgical wounds, bloodstream, heart values, and lungs.
4. Car accident - Many people believe that they can perform multi task and use their phones while driving, but this cause significant impairment and puts the driver and others in danger. Texting and driving can be dangerous as drinking and driving.
5. Male infertility - Cell phone radiation may decrease sperm count, sperm motility and viability.
Psychological effects of smart phone addiction include:
1. Sleep disturbances - Cell phone addiction has been linked to an increase in sleep disorders and fatigue in users.
Using cell phone before bed increases the likelihood of insomnia.
Bright light may decrease sleep quality.
Smart phone use could increase amount of time it takes to fall asleep.
Light emitted from the cell phone may activate the brain.
2. Depression - Use of cell phone in excess amount can cause depression.
3. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Smart phone addiction can be the reason of obsessive compulsive disorder.
4. Relationship problem - Offline relationship may suffer as a result of neglect in favor of excessive cell phone and social media use.
5. Anxiety - People who are addicted to smart phone are more likely to feel anxious during downtime, especially college students.
(Reference - Internet, Site - PsychGuides.com)
Many people believe that smart phone addiction is not a big problem, whereas, some even do not think that it is a problem. The smart phone addiction is taking humans to a peak failure in the social. Humans are said to be social animals but now we are nothing more than an addicted of smart phones.
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