Smartphone Addiction and the Problem of “Text Neck”
There is a default tendency to assume that all technological change is progress. But when it comes to the ubiquity of modern smartphones, there is a growing body of scientific literature that strongly suggests we are in the midst of a cell phone addiction epidemic. And this may have significant consequences for the physical and mental health of society as a whole.
Consider this recent New York Times recently reported on the social impact of smartphone addiction. The Times noted the common problem of people unable to turn away from their phones and other portable devices even when having dinner with other people. Aside from reflecting poor table manners, the Times pointed out that such nonstop viewing also creates physiological problems–specifically, what doctors refer to as “text neck.”
Basically, by constantly tilting your head to look at your cell phone, you increase the “gravitational pull” and stress on your neck. According to a 2017 report from Reuters, spinal surgeons studying text neck have found that many patients–notably younger people–are “reporting disk hernias and alignment problems.” The authors of one study noted their bigger concern was that “we don’t know what this means down the road for kids today who use phones all day.”
Taiwanese Researchers Warn of Smartphone Overstimulation
Physiological problems like text neck are further exacerbated by the fact that many people simply lack awareness of their own smartphone addiction. In another study reported by the Taiwanese press, researchers found that “college students in Taiwan may use their phones up to 50 percent more time than they assume.” That is to say, while students assumed they were only using their phones about 20 hours per week, in fact they were using them at least 30 hours.
The Taiwanese researchers said this level of “overstimulation” has significant health effects. Notably, the light emitted by most smartphone screens inhibit the body’s production of melatonin, a natural hormone that directs the body to sleep. So overexposure to cell phones therefore makes it likely a person will develop a sleeping disorder.
Reducing Your Exposure, Exploring Your Legal Options
Everyone should take steps to reduce unnecessary exposure to cell phones. In addition to the health risks of using such devices, simply carrying a wireless phone increases your exposure to electromagnetic fields, which have been tied to cancer and other serious health problems. If you have developed serious health problems as the result of smartphone exposure or usage and need to speak with an experienced cell phone cancer attorney who can explain your legal options, contact the offices of Frasier, Frasier & Hickman, LLP, at (918) 584-4724 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.January 29, 2018