9 Social and Health Hazards of Excessive Smartphones & Tablets use

Are you addicted to your smartphone or tablet?

Social and Health Hazards of Excessive Smartphones & Tablets use

Mostly people would even deny being addicted, nonetheless, the reality is that it’s not only the younger generation but all generations at present getting addicted to newer tech. The phones and tablets have become such an integral part of our life that we’ve even forgotten the basics of a sound living. Before we go ahead with the list, let’s take a look at some shocking facts pertaining to their use:

  1. While 52% of mobile users are male, about 52% of mobile addicts are females.
  2. Everyone needs entertainment and these smart apps have done exactly that. Is it surprising to discover that entertainment app usage is at its peak during early TV prime time and falls through the evening?
  3. As per the BankAmerica Research about 47% of Americans cannot go without smartphones for more than 24 hours.
  4. The smartphone users spend about 3.3 hours daily using the phone as per the Exact Target Research.
  5. There is an exponential growth in the proportion of mobile traffic against the total internet traffic.
  6. On an average a smartphone user checks his/her phone 150 times a day.
  7. Smartphone addicts suffer from interrupted sleep, impatience and difficulty focusing. They also indulge in lying about their phone usage and are commonly depressed.
  8. E-commerce is flourishing better on smartphone apps as compared to their website counterparts. For the same reason Myntra has already shut its website version and now selling only on the app. Even Flipkart has decided to gradually remove its website by mid of 2016 and continue only as an app.

Don’t all these facts indicate how smartphone addiction has taken over our lives? Well, let’s see how it affects our social and physical health.

1Text Claw

If you’re using your smartphone all the time for playing ‘Angry birds’ or typing texts, over the time you notice your fingers are cramped and sore, along with the wrists and forearms. This condition is referred as Text Claw.

It is a result of repetitive strain injury. Since you’re overusing a particular set of muscles and joint relentlessly, particularly the thumbs, index fingers and wrists, in a posture which isn’t their natural, they are predisposed tendinitis. Tendinitis is inflammation of the tendons.

According to several studies about half the smartphones users experience pain in thumbs. Users have to frequently rest their thumb to ease the pain.

Apart from limiting the phone use, for a better experience modifications in the usage are needed. First of all, touch the keypads lightly. Never grip the phone too tight. Always maintain a good posture, especially neck whose muscles are connected to the thumb. One should also exercise the thumbs, fingers and wrists frequently between the usages.

2Phantom Vibration Syndrome

I’m sure you’ve heard of phantom limbs. Phantom Vibration Syndrome isn’t something too different, only the person feels as if the phone is ringing or vibrating even when it isn’t.

When the smartphone users get too accustomed to their phones, they feel the phone is vibrating when they most desire it to, whether or not it’s actually vibrating. This is basically a manifestation of anticipatory anxiety, the brain acting all funny.

Out of every ten phone users, on an average, seven users suffer from it. Amongst the sufferers about 13% feel the vibrations every day, while up to 87% experience them at least once a week.

3Sleep texting

There is sleep walking and, then, there is sleep texting. The impact on us from excessive usage of smartphones is such that it’s literally feeding upon our brain. Surprising as it may sound but many of the smart phone addicts actually text during their sleep.

Commonly, sleep texting is seen during the first two hours once the person is asleep. Like a sleep walker, they’re also unaware of doing so.

Now, not only does sleep texting leads to inappropriate and embarrassing conversations, it can only be imagined how devastating these unintentional texting could be.

Moreover, since sleep texting interrupts with deep REM sleep, its aftereffects can be serious. In the end these people don’t get adequate sleep, which is a must for your entire body to keep healthy, especially higher brain function.


The term was first introduced in a study by UK Post office, and is short for No Mobile Phone Phobia.

According to the study about 53% of smartphone users in UK were inclined to get fretful when they lost their phone, the phone balance or batteries died, or when they had no network coverage.

Unfortunately, people have got so addicted to their phones that a huge proportion of users take them to bed with them. What’s even more surprising is that people are taking the phones to family holidays too, hence, losing on some quality time with their loved ones.

According to the studies women are about 17% more vulnerable to phone related phobia. Young individuals between 18-24 years of age are most affected by nomophobia, with around 77% of them unable to stay without the phone for about few minutes.

The symptoms of nomophobia are compulsively checking the phone, never turning it off, regularly charging the batteries even when not needed, and using the phone in bathroom.

5Cyber Sickness

I’m sure you’ve heard about motion sickness; cyber sickness is the cyber version, of course. It’s chiefly a side effect of the 3-D features that iPhones and iPads offer.

It’s caused due to the incongruity between the user’s eyes and the motion perceived by his/her brain’s motion center. Naturally, the brain thinks that they’re moving while the body is stationary. This disharmony can lead to nausea, vomiting, strain on eyes and giddiness.

The symptoms are getting worse as the tech is getting more advanced and frame rates and screen resolutions are both increasing.

To reduce the problem one can either change the phone settings or look at the horizon for relief.

6Screen Sightedness

Another health hazard that is on rise because of smartphones and laptops overuse is deterioration of vision.

Since users are spending hours daily on smartphones, apart from the time spent watching television or using laptop, there is a significant rise in the number of people suffering from short-sightedness. Eye surgeons claim that the number of myopic has risen by 35%, especially in the young individuals since the launch of mobile phones in 1997. While myopia was rarely seen to advance after early 20’s, recently it is also seen in 20’s, 30’s and 40’s too.

What’s more concerning is that the problem is bound to rise in the upcoming years as the number of users is only going to increase.


Accept it or not, but a laptop or smartphone user is in a bad posture while using the gadgets. The more one uses them, more exposed he/she is to that posture.

Most affected parts of the bad posture are neck and back. When you’re leaned forward at the screen, your head’s weight is entirely supported on the neck muscles. A constant use in that position is certainly a killer for the neck, spine and shoulder.

Similarly, back is also in a constant bent position, leading to low back pain.

Almost all phone and laptop users complain of suffering from neck pain and low back pain. The majority of these users are aged between18 to 24.

8Dry Eye Syndrome

Concentrating at the screen reduces the amount of blinking in the users drastically. Blinking is really essential for a better eye health, since it promotes lacrimation, and helps in wiping the eyes clean.

Less blinking has resulted in lesser lacrimation, more evaporation of the tears and more exposure to harmful particles in the air. There is a rise in the amount of people suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome. Ultimately, the user can even end with a permanent damage to the eyes.

9Social seclusion

People are spending more time socializing through smartphones and laptop than in real. As a result, even though users may think that they are gaining friends, in truth, they are isolating themselves from the society. Moreover, mixing up in the society is not only about making new friends, it’s much more than that. A person’s overall development depends on a lot of social factors like interacting with others, facing challenges, working as a team.

When users are spending most of their time with smartphones, they don’t even give enough attention to their family and loved ones. In the end, relationships suffer a great deal.

[Also read: Want to keep your kids away from tabs & smartphones? Here’s how]