Importance of Natural Resources

How Is Your Phone Changing You?


Of the 7 billion people on Earth, roughly
6 billion own a cellphone, which is pretty shocking, given that only 4.5 billion have
access to a working toilet. So how are these popular gadgets changing your body and brain? If you’re looking down at your phone right
now, your spine angle is equivalent to that of an 8 year old child sitting on your neck
– which is fairly significant considering people spend an average of 4.7 hours a day
looking at their phone. This, combined with the length of time spent in front of computers
has led to an increase in the prevalence of myopia or nearsightedness in North America.
In the 1970s about ¼ of the population had myopia, where today nearly half do; and in
some parts of Asia, 80-90% of the population is now nearsighted. And it can be hard to put your phone down
– take for example the game Candy Crush. As you play the game, you achieve small goals
causing your brain to be rewarded with little bursts of dopamine – and eventually you are
rewarded with new content. This novelty also gives little bursts of dopamine and together
create what is known as a ‘compulsion loop’ – which just happens to be the same loop responsible
for the behaviours associated with nicotine or cocaine. Our brains are hard-wired to make
us novelty seeking, and this is why apps on our phones are designed to constantly provide
us with new content, making them hard to put down. As a result, 93% of young people aged 18-29
report using their smartphones as a tool to avoid boredom, as opposed to other activities
such as reading books or engaging with people around them. This has created the new term
‘nomophobia’ – the fear or anxiety of being without your phone. We also see a change in brain patterns: alpha
rhythms are commonly associated with ‘wakeful relaxation’ like when your mind wanders
off, whereas gamma waves are associated with conscious attentiveness. And experiments have
shown that when a cell phone is transmitting – say during a phone call – the power of these
alpha waves is significantly boosted, meaning phone transmissions can literally change the
way your brain functions. Your smartphone can also disrupt your sleep!
The screen emits a blue light which has been shown to alter our circadian rhythms, diminishing
the time spent in deep sleep, which is linked to the development of diabetes, cancer and
obesity. Studies have shown that people who read on their smartphone at night have a harder
time falling asleep and produce less melatonin – a hormone responsible for the regulation
of sleep-wake cycles. Harvard medical school advises the last 2-3 hours before bed be ‘technology’
free, so pick up a book before bed instead. Of course, smartphones also completely change
our ability to access information – most notably in poor and minority populations. 7% of Americans
are entirely dependent on smartphones for their access to the internet. A 2014 study
found that the majority of smartphone owners use their phone for online banking, to look
up medical information and searching for jobs. So while phones are in no way exclusively
bad, and have been a part of positive change in the world, there’s no denying that they
are changing us. But, many successful people have now decided
to take “smartphone vacations” in order to increase productivity. In our new AsapTHOUGHT
video we break down the top 6 reasons you should take a smartphone vacation, and how
it could benefit your life right now. And subscribe for more weekly science videos


Reader Comments

  1. Mobile phones are difficult to write and difficult to watch, so please explain to me How is it possible that people prefer Mobile phones to laptops?? My only Guess is that people Just don't have Enough Money to buy a laptop they can only buy a cell phone

  2. Haha Need help tracking your phone usage. I have recently created an app called Usage Tracker- Phone, It allows you to keep track of your phone usage. Download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kanonjitech.phoneUseTracker

  3. The internet is not an addiction. IT's a way to communicate for people who have no other choice. Some people are left forgotten and alone. They turn to the internet. Prove me wrong…..

  4. Ah silly bored lonely people and their phones. Grown ups don't need a binkie to go outside and cross the street, but these phone holders sure do. I'm sorry you're getting played by your phone company and all the advertisers you benefit with your addiction. Good luck at therapy in two years!

  5. I read on my phone at night and I pass out almost immediately and I wake up in the night to use the bathroom or because of my alarm clock.

  6. honestly everytime i leave the house everyone is glued to there phones like honestly most of the time when i talk to my friends there talking to me while on there phones and im like wth. honestly people your life is out there, not in the little thing in your hand which your reading this comment off. so just look up. just look up. and see what i see. whats become of the world. and sometimes i feel alone like do people not realise esepcailly if people are around you, i would choose to talk then to go on my phone. sorry for the rant but if you feel the same way that i do please like or reply because im sick of feeling alone in this and everyone reading this put your phone down and do something else with your life. please dont waste your life

  7. I have depression and anxiety and use my phone for escapism. It’s almost like a drug for me to feel safe and distracted again from everything. I’m going to stop using it for like a month and track my changes 👌

  8. I have a smartphone but i HATE it.

    Everytime i take it and look at it i get literally SICK to my stomach.

    This nausea starts to take over while i browse my phone.

    Most of the time i ignore my smartphone because it is literally POISON to my mind.

    Im different then most people to say the least.

    I always go in the opposite direction most people do because most people are morons.

    sadistical masohistical morons.

  9. Technology used to help us in our daily lives but today it CONTROLS us.

    CORPORATIONS want endless supplies of money so they create newer and newer toys and tricks to make us hooked like a fish on a rod.

    GREED IS THE DOWNFALL OF SOCIETY.

    Using a bit of technology in your life is not bad but what IS bad is if you use TOO MUCH OF IT.

    YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE LIMITS TO ITS BENEFIT/S.

    ITS ALL GREED BASED SOCIETY AND TECHNOLOGY.

    IT WAS NEVER MEANT TO HELP US REMEMBER THAT.

  10. What you’re saying is that we should get off our device and do other activities.

    Post on youtube

    Me: Mom! Can I watch this video to tell people to stay off electronics?

    Mom: By getting off electronics, you want to use electronics?

    Me: yeahhhhh……

  11. This is why I won't be giving my kids smartphones. If I don't monitor their usage, they will sit on the devices until the battery dies. Here's a funny article from the Onion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGXSPf9b-xI

  12. Today is literally the first day in 8 years that I have had a cell phone

  13. Thank you for not being hypercritical like rhe rest of media its always the same thing. The "New bad technology that kills us all"

    They said that about the car
    TVs
    PCs
    Trains

    every new technology gets so much criticism while nobody sees the big benefits

    As we say in germany the amount makes the danger

    If you are always using your smartphone 24 hours its bad of course just like drinking too much but if you know how to use them in a proper and healthy way nothing will happen its simple as that

  14. We are on the beggining threshold of our next evolutionary transformation….lizard people. Embrace your smartphones…embrace your future self!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQGA2vYaD5k

  15. I go with out the internet,caring outside,cars,and a beutful day of rest every week thanksto my holy lord hashem,

  16. I have a phone addiction,it happened when i was 7 i wanted to get a phone 😂 but now at the age of 10 my vision is super blurry I can only see from close,I spend my phone 24h EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! I know that’s super DUPER bad,I’m trying to fix it so I won’t go blind 😭

  17. My phone addiction is because of fuckin YOUTUBE………..LIKE if u are too!!!!!!!!👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇

  18. No, it's not the phones. IT'S SCHOOL !!!!!!!!! It has been proven that school homework is really bad, even on classroom. Homework takes our time away from friends and family and increases depression and the feeling that you are a failure, being stupid believing. We spend too much time on school and doing homework. We spend more than half our days there, reading and writing books, that lead to bad eye vision and neck and hand pain.
    Every student learns "everything" the same way and that means that a "bad" student would need a little bit of time just to catch up. And you can't develop and learn your passion this way. We are so locked up and have a lot of tasks to do that we don't even have time to clean our noses. Did you know that schools haven't changed for more that 1 and a half century?! And they say "School prepares students for the future", but your lessons haven't changed for forever, so do you prepare students for the future or the past?
    And this is my proof:
    Imagine you just finished homework and thought of hanging out with friends, and then you look out the window and you see the dark sky with a bright moon and no cars or signs of movement. You look up at the clock and realised that everyone was sleeping. And THEN you got your phone and started watching pewds because of how addicted to dank memes you are. And then you fell asleep. When you woke up and got to school and took the exam, you failed and your teachers and school said that you were a failure, you should have spent more time studying than sleeping. But really sleeping is how you learn!

  19. Im on my galaxy 9 i was thinking to switch to nokia 3310 to call and txt only but now that i see this maybe i shouldn't own a phone at all

  20. Man phones are terrible. Let's go back in the day where we burned witches alive and skinned everyone.

  21. It’s also a crutch. I notice when people feel uncomfortable they pull out their phone and stare into it to avoid the situation.

  22. I workout at least 6-7 hours and 1 rest day in weekends.
    I learn takowando and jiu jutsu and wrestling and football. I'm a athele. Sometimes it's hard and I love it. I use my phone for info and

  23. When I heard i might get cancer from being on my phone I shut my phone off💀 it’s been awhile and I just now thought of coming back and commenting

  24. Asapscience:people spend atleast 4.7hrs/day on their phones.
    Me:You gotta bump those numbers up, those are rookie numbers.

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