Cell Phones – Best Friends or Worst Enemies?

    3 min  read

The 21st century has brought about many modern luxuries. From cell phones to tablets to e-readers to laptops, there has never been such a wide spectrum of resources available for us to use. In the last decade, the cell phone has been one of the leading technological tools on the market. Just to put this into perspective, the number of cell phones across the globe has increased by 1,700 percent since 2000.

With constant competition between Apple, Samsung and Google to sell the best phone on the market, consumers can be certain they are receiving the most useful and current tool for their daily lives. While our relationships with our cell phones have become an essential part of modern life, there has also been some controversy regarding its potential negative impacts on health. As a result, many studies have been conducted to determine whether cell phones actually do impact human health. Many skeptics believe that excessive cell phone usage is the root cause of disorders and diseases that have appeared more and more frequently in the past decade.

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Image Source: The New York Times

Illnesses related to sleep deprivation have become increasingly common in the past few years. According to Science Daily, cell phone addiction is one of the leading causes of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation results in inability to focus, it lowers our immune systems, and, ultimately damages our social relationships.

If you would like to develop better sleeping habits, you can try powering down your phone at night before you go to bed. That way, you won’t be disturbed when someone messages or calls you late at night. However, if the need to check your phone is still too great, you can put it outside of your bedroom where it is out of reach. You could also distract yourself with a book or magazine before going to bed. A study done by the National Sleep Foundation found that reading a book before bed helps in transitioning from the daily stresses of life to sleeping more easily, resulting in a better and more full sleep.

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Image Source: Buzzfeed

Communications over texts are often misinterpreted. A 2005 study asked participants to use their phones to send 10 texts (either serious or sarcastic) to any of their contacts. Their contacts were then asked if the messages they just received were either serious or sarcastic. Surprisingly, they were only able to identify the correct tone of the message 56 percent of the time. According to OneReach, 8.3 trillion texts are sent every year. If only 56 percent of these texts are properly interpreted, that means 3.7 trillion texts are misinterpreted every single year.

If you can get away with limiting your text time, try other alternatives such as voice or video calls. These types of communication allows you to use other cues (tone of voice and facial expression) in interacting with others. However, if texting is a must, be extra careful in interpreting messages, and if you don’t understand something, go ahead and ask the person.

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While the cell phone is one of the most revolutionary devices in modern-day living and has made communication easier in virtually every regard, it is important to be informed on the impacts and solutions that pose a threat to our relationships with them.

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