Ever since smartphones hit the market, they’ve been a huge hit. Now, you barely see anyone without one in their hands. This technology was touted as the next big thing and has changed the world around us immensely. They basically let you access the internet at any time you want. While this may seem like an ideal situation, these phones are not as advantageous as people portray them. They have a number of highly harmful effects on our society.
Just look around you! Wherever you go, you’ll see millennials and Gen Z glued to their smartphones, with no heed for what’s going on around them. Before these phones, we’d make do with the home internet connections we got with our Optimum bundles. Now, these youngsters have endless amounts of data, and simply can’t separate themselves from their digital pacifiers. Here are just a few of the dire effects of smartphones on our lives.
The Mess with Our Sleep Cycle
Why are sleep issues so commonplace these days? It’s because most of us take our phones to bed, and scroll through them like zombies at bedtime. The light from these phones mess with sleep cycles and overstimulate the brain.
This is why you’ll see everyone going around with dark circles under their eyes and a glazed look on their faces. This habit has a negative impact on both physical and mental health.
They Make Life Too Easy
Just a few years ago, people had to be quite resourceful. They needed to make an effort to get things done. Think about it! When you needed to look up a word, you’d find a dictionary. When you needed to go somewhere new, you’d read a map. Now, you simply put it in Google, and you have everything in front of you.
While making life easy may sound like a positive factor, it has reduced human resourcefulness. Now, you barely see anyone who knows classic skills like navigation. The younger lot is especially guilty of this, and if you ask any of them to figure things out without using their phones, they will give up immediately.
They Affect Social Interaction
Take a look at any social gathering around you. People will be tapping away at their phones and not talking to each other. We’ve largely lost the beauty of direct human conversation, and have reduced it to textspeak. Even when two people are in the same house, they’d rather text each other than get up and directly talk to them.
This affects the skill of social interaction. It’s no wonder that so many young people suffer from social anxiety. People are so absorbed in their phones, that they can’t hold a conversation without getting distracted every few minutes.
They Decrease Attention Spans
Over the years, the general attention span has gone down immensely. We are now bombarded with new information every few minutes, with no time to properly absorb it. Our minds are now used to this constant stream of information, and we don’t process any of it.
Therefore, attention spans are quite short. So, even if major world events happen, people forget them just a while later, when the next thing hits the headlines. This has also led to a decline in empathy and compassion.
They Reduce In-Person Communication
Those times are gone when people would simply sit down together and talk to each other. This in-person communication is much more personalized and interactive than text communication. You lose out on all the nuance of human conversation if you don’t talk face to face.
This lack of in-person communication has also affected people’s speech. You’ll see more young people who murmur and stutter, just because they use text messages as their primary source of communication. If we’re not careful, we might lose the art of human conversation. This would not be good for anyone and will also lead to misunderstandings.
They Affect Self-Esteem
These days, many young people suffer from low self-esteem and body image issues. This is because they’re always on their social media feeds and see overly edited and curated images of people’s lives. This makes them feel inadequate, even though that lifestyle is not real in any way.
These self-esteem issues have a long-term impact and are not good for general mental health. These youngsters also suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out), and always feel like they’re not enjoying the lives they’re supposed to.
They Impact Parenting
Smartphones have really made parenting much harder. It is now more complicated to raise children of any age. Younger children need your full attention, but parents are often distracted by their phones and don’t offer that level of attention. On the other hand, older children have access to content, which is not appropriate for them in any way, with their own smartphones.
This has made parenting more complex and has changed the conversations people need to have with their children. It has also led to many safety risks, with sexual predators lurking online. Therefore, parents really need to be alert.
To sum up, cell phones have had many negative effects on our lives. While they may be useful in numerous ways, these effects are still quite harmful.