The moniker “smartphone” is a bit of a misnomer. The objects we call smartphones are more accurately described as pocket-sized supercomputers. And unlike the supercomputers of old, they can be used by anybody and have so many features it would take a lifetime to fully explore them all.
Like most powerful technologies, however, smartphones have a dark side, one that the shiny Apple and Google adverts don’t want to talk about. Because they have become a sort of new appendage for our bodies, we are becoming increasingly reliant on them, to the extent that they are becoming a social crutch, a liability and a destroyer of intimacy.
Here are some ways your smartphone could be messing with your life.
It Could Be Disrupting Your Sleep
The blue light emitted by your smartphone might seem harmless, but it turns out that it can have some dire consequences on your sleeping patterns. It turns out that blue light activates a part of the brain the suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps us to sleep. In other words, our phones trick our brains into thinking that it is time to get up, and the quality of our sleep falls.
The good news is that you don’t have to shut down your devices before you go to be like many articles recommend. Instead, you can use one of a number of free apps, like Twilight, that filter out red light and give your phone a distinct, ember glow.
It Could Be Putting Your Finances At Risk
Hackers have been after people’s financial information for as long as there have been computers. But with the advent of the smartphone, that risk has gone up a notch. We use our smartphones for everything, including making payments in online stores, online banking and face-to-face payments using Apple Pay. Embedded in all these activities are risks, and so it’s a good idea that everybody who uses a smartphone follows simple computer security steps, just as they would on their PC. This includes things like never giving out passwords and making sure that your phone has a hexadecimal lock code.
It Kills Conversations
Perhaps one of the greatest ironies of the smartphone is the fact that it is supposed to connect people to each other but often ends up doing the precise opposite. How many times have you sat in a coffee shop and seen people who otherwise would have been talking to each other in an age gone by, totally absorbed in their phones? Too often, no doubt.
A photographer called Babyface Romero published a collection of photos back in 2014, showing a series of couples completely ignoring each other while using their smartphones. He said that it was sad to see how the technology was driving wedges between people.
It Might Make You Depressed
Recently research by the University of Illinois has found evidence that frequent smartphone usage is related to depression. According to Dr. Alejandro Lleras, people use their smartphones as a way of avoiding feelings of stress and negativity in their real life.