Sometimes, I wonder how people used to get by without cell phones. How did they get from point A to point B without a trusty GPS? How did they let their friends know if they were running late?
More importantly, what did they do with all their free time?! Without texting, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Pinterest, email... what on earth were people doing?
Probably having more face-to-face conversations, focusing more easily on a single task and feeling a lot less stressed out.
Don't get me wrong, I definitely think smartphones are a cool invention. They make it easy for me to contact anyone in the world within seconds, and it's nice to stay up to date with whatever's going on at work if I need to pop out for a doctor's appointment.
But as they say, "Everything in moderation."
As a nation, we hardly moderate when it comes to our devices. In fact, one study found nearly 20 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 are on their phones during sex.
Here are three reasons putting your phone down is really important for your health.
It will do wonders for your stress level.
There are tons of ways smartphones actually reduce stress, like giving you immediate directions when you get lost and providing you with important information the moment you need it.
But smartphones also lead to so much stress. Smartphones create more of a "work-home interference," according to psychology professor Arnold Bakker.
What does this mean? We can't leave work at work. We're obsessively checking our emails and texting our co-workers when we're supposed to be unwinding and spending quality time with friends and family.
Not only that, but scrolling through your Instagram feed and watching your friends' Snapchat stories lead to serious FOMO, and FOMO is stressful.
Plus, looking at the healthy food your friends are 'gramming makes you feel bad about yourself because you just scarfed down a burger. That's stressful, too.
Yep, smartphones are basically big balls of stress.
You'll sleep better.
I'll admit I'm obsessed with sleep, but it's only because I believe it's the most important thing for your day-to-day health. In fact, I value sleep over exercise and what I eat when it comes to my health and general wellbeing.
For that reason, I firmly believe anything that interferes with sleep should be eliminated. And smartphones do just that.
As Arianna Huffington explained to Sleep Review,
Our houses, our bedrooms — even our beds — are littered with beeping, vibrating, flashing screens. It's the never-ending possibility of connecting —with friends, with strangers, with the entire world, with every TV show or movie ever made — with just the press of a button that is, not surprisingly, addictive. Humans are social creatures — we're hard-wired to connect. Even when we're not actually connecting digitally, we're in a constant state of heightened anticipation. And always being in this state doesn't exactly put us in the right frame of mind to wind down when it's time to sleep.
I know, I know. Your iPhone is your alarm clock, but that's not an excuse. Go out and buy yourself a real alarm clock at CVS and leave your phone outside your bedroom when you sleep.
Your neck and back will thank you.
Constantly looking down at your phone is f*cking terrible for your neck and back.
In fact, there's an actual term for it: "text neck."
Ken Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, declared text neck an "epidemic." It's basically a stress injury that's caused by constantly hanging your head forward.
Think about it -- in what world is keeping your (very heavy) head in that position natural?
So, try to spend a little less time with your smartphone on a daily basis. Your neck and back will thank you.
If you're reading this on your phone, thank you for reading... but please put your phone down now!