Steve Jobs is believed to have famously said how he wouldn’t let his kids use the iPad or smartphones in general. Coming from the man who created it, he very well knew how destructively addictive these gadgets could get. This article talks about the many ways that the smartphone addiction of today is becoming fatal for many – from causing accidents on the road to mental depression. The effects can be even more catastrophic on teenagers given hormonal activity which facilitates all types of addiction. “This is “like giving them cocaine or heroin”, according to David Gillespie, the author of Teen Brain – Why Screens Are Making Your Teenager Depressed, Anxious And Prone to Lifelong Addictive Illnesses – And How to Stop it Now.”
You can access our own blog on the subject focussed on instilling deep work as a route to success, which is made hard by the smartphone addiction which tends shorten attention spans.
“The most obvious example is all the people who are killed on our roads, not just because they were the ones stupidly looking at their phones while driving – Australians now believe it is the main reason for our rising road toll, with 32% of drivers admitting to reading text messages while driving, according to the Community Attitudes to Road Safety 2013 Survey Report – but because they ambled, zombie-like, into traffic while posting on Instagram.
The number of pedestrians killed on US roads has risen by a staggering 51% since 2009. In 2017, pedestrian fatalities in Australia jumped by 20% in a year, with police blaming the stupidity of smartphones.
If you haven’t noticed the number of people who try to cross roads while ignoring the approach of big heavy vehicles in favour of their tiny screens, it’s probably because you’ve been looking at your phone.
….According to a study by a tracking app called Moment, the average American spends four hours a day staring at their phone. Unfortunately, not all the information our screens give us is positive, and when we’re getting, instead, irate emails from colleagues, for example, or other bad news, our bodies release cortisol, our fight-or-flight hormone.
Cortisol is designed to prime your body to react to physical threats – such as bears, or bullies – and it changes your body physically, upping your heart rate, frizzing your adrenaline and spiking your blood sugar. Unfortunately, your body also responds with cortisol when you’re being stressed emotionally. And smartphones can provide you with these moments, wherever you are, multiple times per hour.
“Your cortisol levels are elevated when your phone is in sight or nearby, or when you hear it or even think you hear it,” says David Greenfield, the founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction.
“It’s a stress response, and it feels unpleasant, and the body’s natural response is to want to check the phone to make the stress go away.” Checking the phone, of course, can just provide more bad news and thus you can get into a cycle that leaves you with chronically high levels of cortisol. And this can lead to all kinds of health issues, including heart attacks, dementia, diabetes and depression.”
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