15 Scary Facts About Your Obsession With Your Phone That Should Worry You For The Future
We all know that Gen-Y has a problem, and it's that our iPhones are permanently glued to our fingertips.
We feel naked and out of touch when there’s no cell service, and pay exorbitant data roaming charges so we don’t feel disconnected while on vacation.
If it’s not on Instagram, it probably didn’t happen.
But our phone obsession may be out of control. According to Psychology Today, 56 percent of Americans own a smartphone. And we're completely and utterly addicted to them.
These are 15 facts that may scare you into leaving your phone at home for the day (or at least for the morning coffee run).
1. From the shower to the bedroom...
We're using our phones in some seriously freaky places; 9 percent of Americans have used their phones during sex, according to Jumio. How bad do we feel for their partners?
The same study, conducted last year, found that 12 percent of Americans use their phones in the shower, while 19 percent do so in a place of worship. It's like we're asking for plagues and thunderbolts.
2. You might be sick.
Phone addiction has an official name, and there are actual treatment centers for it in California (of course). If you fear lack of access to technology... you have nomophobia, a term developed in Britain in 2008.
3. At the very least, it's making you crazy.
A study out of Indiana University found that 89 percent of undergrads had experienced a "phantom" vibration, thinking they had felt a phone notification when there wasn't one.
When your phone messes with your mind and sensations, you know you're hopelessly addicted.
4. It's kind of replacing your boyfriend.
According to TIME, 80 percent of 18-24 year old Americans sleep with their phones right beside them, for easy access first and last thing.
If your phone is the only thing keeping you company in bed, it may be time to get out more.
5. It's ruining your work and play.
Psychologist David Sheffield carried out a study in the UK, from Staffordshire University.
He was shocked to find that "7 percent said the use of mobile phones had caused them to lose a relationship or job."
6. It's become more of a priority than basic human essentials.
Of the roughly 7 billion people in the world, 6 billion own a cell phone.
According to the UN, only 4.5 billion own a toilet. Additionally, more people own a phone than have access to running water. Surely, surely, something's gone wrong here.
7. What happens when you're without your phone is terrifying.
One in five school kids in South Korea experience anxiety, depression and inability to sleep when separated from his or her phone, according to this Wall Street Journal article.
The Government is now having to put time and money into dealing with phone addiction and its negative side effects.
8. You forget how to live in the real world.
The same Wall Street Journal article states that people in South Korea are losing social skills rapidly. Kids are no longer good at reading facial expressions or intonations.
Perhaps we should all stop with the emojis and meet some real people.
9. Your cell phone addiction could kill you...
...If you use it while you drive. For drivers between the ages of 15 to 19, 21 percent of fatal car crashes were directly linked to cell phone use.
Staggeringly, sending a text apparently makes you 23 times more likely to crash. No text can possibly be that important.
10. It can make you a mean person.
Parents who spend a lot of time focused on their phones and looking at the screens are more likely to shout at their children, a study in "Pediatrics" reports.
Children, naturally, respond negatively to being ignored and then shouted at, subsequently ruining bonding time.
11. The numbers are staggering.
Data collected by a screenlock app say the average person unlocks his or her phone to check it 110 times a day.
Some check it up to 900 times. That sounds like a huge waste of time, and worryingly compulsive.
If we did anything else 110 times a day, we'd be hospitalized.
12. Your phone is disgustingly dirty.
If you shy away from public toilets, you may be interested to know your phone is 18 times dirtier than the average public bathroom. From touching money, to touching dirty things, to sweating, your phone comes into contact with whatever you do.
And the more you use it, the worse it is. This video says you can get diarrhea and pinkeye from a dirty cell phone. BTW when did you last clean your phone? Can you even clean it?
13.You could get really, really sick.
I hate to break it to you, but those hours you spend chatting on your cell as you walk to work or lie in the bath are really bad for you. For every 100 hours you speak on the phone (easily done for the addicts out there), your risk of brain cancer increases by 5 percent.
Try to keep calls short, and, linking back to point number 8, try to save the long conversations for in-person.
14. Your phone obsession has replaced personal hygiene.
That's it, if you're part of the 40 percent of people who would rather give up brushing their teeth for the week than give up their phones for the same period of time. All together now -- ewwww.
15. Paradoxically, an app could help you.
There's an iPhone app designed to cure your cell phone addiction, which works by calculating how much time you spend on your phone per day. You set a limit, and the app "nudges" you as you approach the limit, as a reminder to put it away.
We're skeptical, but it doesn't look like the problem is going away on its own. It might be worth a try?