The overlooked effects of gadget usage

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Technology has, without any doubt, become an integral part of our lives, and the reasons are obvious – smoother long-distance communication, education, entertainment, and more.

Gadgets like smartphones and tablets are in almost everyone’s home, and it has even become unacceptable to leave the house without these life-changing devices. But there are some drawbacks of smartphones or other gadgets that are often forgotten. Gadget exposure, especially in the case of children, can negatively impact health and social behaviour, so it requires special attention.

Individuals are more connected than ever, but at what cost? Surfing the web all day long is unquestionably an unhealthy habit, but let us find why!

Technology addiction

Smartphones are now seen everywhere – is there anyone who does not use their mobile when walking on roads or travelling by bus? We agree it is an excellent method to kill time when you have nothing else to do, but using it without a limit can lead to addiction. It is very common for individuals, including children, to isolate themselves and prefer screens to social interaction. The emergence of other smart devices makes this strong desire to spend time in front of a screen even higher, and so have people worldwide fall into the trap of technology.

Millennials, in particular, are more prone to the negative effects of smartphone usage, as the average millennial picks up their mobile 150 times a day. And it is understandable: once you enter this world, it is hard to leave it, so you feel a constant need to check your phone and see what is new on the Internet. This is also known as FOMO, but we will discuss this issue in a few lines below. This incessant desire to verify your mobile can lead to what is known as technology addiction.

FOMO

Very Well Mind describes FOMO (fear of missing out) as a feeling of helplessness that you are missing out on some big events or other people’s experiences. People suffering from FOMO have the impression that other individuals have a happier life than them, affecting their way of thinking and self-esteem. This obsession of constantly checking your phone for the latest posts and news is often worsened by social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. FOMO is somehow a blend of irritating and anxious thoughts that can erupt when scrolling on social media. It can happen to anyone who becomes too distracted by their smartphone, so do not believe that you cannot be a target and take measures in this regard by limiting your time spent on social media.

Phantom Vibration Syndrome

Does it sound impossible? Well, it is not. It is, in fact, a medical issue affecting a significant number of people. Phantom Vibration Syndrome involves a perception that your phone is ringing or vibrating when it is not. It is a false alarm that makes you take the mobile out of your pocket and unlock it. We do not know if it ever happened to you, but if you suspect so, then it is a sign of worry. This tactile hallucination may be ignored by people, particularly when some background noise interferes with your perception, but it is clearer than ever if it happens when it is quiet. More and more mobile users report dealing with phantom vibrations, with reported rates going from 27.4 percent to 98 percent. PVS can also be confused by the brain with an itch, so if you are dealing with such sensations, maybe it is a sign that you need to pay more attention to your time spent on the mobile.

Distraction

It is nothing new under the sun that smartphones can distract your attention. Apart from keeping you from noticing other people’s presence, they also divert your attention when driving. And there is nothing worse than a vehicle collision. With you scrolling on social media on one side and another driver texting on the other, you can get involved in a car crash that can threaten your life. It is very common for drivers to answer calls or messages while on the road, generally because they do not give that much importance to the risks involved, but we highly advise you to change the habit if you do the same.

It can also happen for you to be the victim of another driver’s negligence, and, even if you are not at fault, you can get injured. In this case, it is imperative to inform yourself about the procedures to be made. Some of the first steps you can take are to visit a doctor at once and contact a lawyer. You can claim compensation for the damage done to you and thus make your recovery process smoother. Specialists from Personal Injury Claims UK, for example, can give you professional advice in this regard, tell you if you are eligible for compensation, and further guide you on your legal path.

Impaired social and emotional skills

The more time you spend on your smart device, the less time you have for the people that matter. It is, without any doubt, without intention, but you can put yourself in a situation where you spend more time behind a screen than communicating with people in person. And this is also one of the causes why conversations are no longer as fruitful as they once were in the era before technology. It has become more and more challenging for individuals, especially younger ones, to establish strong relationships and interpersonal connections since smartphones have become the primary communication medium. It is true that these devices significantly ease our communication with people that are thousands of kilometres apart, but if your loved ones are only a couple of miles away, try as much as possible to maintain the bond and keep the interaction face-to-face.

Because this happens over time, it is hard for people to realise that they slowly isolate themselves. The best way to avoid such a situation would be to limit your time spent in the virtual environment and see if this affects you somehow.

Gadgets can be both life saviours and social impediments, so make sure you use them with a limit and do not forget that anything, regardless of its advantages, comes also with drawbacks.

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