Millions of cell phones are sold each year. With today’s technology phones have become incredibility sophisticated and changed the world for the better – mostly. We are connected to the world with a swipe of the screen. Cell phones are able to connect to the internet, wireless printer, and video skype our friends and family even if they are thousands of miles apart.
If you’re in a new city and need help finding your way around, your map app can show you the way. It’s amazing what our phones can do, however, with all of this amazing technology packed into a small device that can fit in the palm of our hands, it’s easy to overlook possible dangers.
A few dangers of using cell phones are:
1- Static at the Gas Pumps
2- Talking or texting on the phone while driving
3- Cell Phone Addiction
4- Text Neck
Drivers across America are warned not to use their cell phones while pumping gas into their vehicle due to the possibility of the phone igniting the gas fumes and causing a fire. In New Paltz, N.Y., a college student was pumping gas into his vehicle when he flipped open his cell phone to answer a call. This is when the fumes in the air exploded in a ball of flames, resulting in some minor burns and a destroyed cell phone.
Experts have since debated if the fire was caused by the cell phone call or from static electricity that was generated by the friction and movements of the students hands as he flipped open his phone. In any event, experts agree that pumping gas should be taken seriously. Cell phones or any other device that will distract you from safely pumping the gas should be left in the car.
You may be interested in reading our other article titled, “Safety At The Gas Pumps”.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 600,000 drivers are attempting to use their phones while driving every day. As a result, 1.6 million or 1 out of every 4 car accidents occur every year due to drivers texting and driving. These are some shocking statistics! In fact, many states have cracked down on drivers who text and drive at the same time in an effort to reduce these statistics.
A number of years ago, while I was in college, I was on my way to the testing center on my moped. As I was driving down the road, I saw this car that had slowed down and was making a turn, across my lane, into a small parking lot. Moments before I was to pass the car, the driver suddenly made a sharp turn across my path. Unable to stop or avoid the car, I ended up hitting the back of the vehicle and was sent flying through the air and down the road until I came to a stop. After impact I quickly wiggled my fingers and toes to ensure all was working and my injuries were not anything major. The driver of the vehicle jumped out of the car, ran to my side and started hysterically crying “I Killed Him!!” I assured her that, while it hurt like crazy, I was very much alive!
After being assessed and bandaged up in the back of the ambulance I was free to go and take my test. I don’t remember how well I did on the test, but I do remember learning that the driver was distracted by her phone. She was typing a text message and had just pressed send when she immediately made the turn without looking.
Believe it or not, but cell phone addiction is real and a major problem in our society today. As with any addition, whether it is your phone, drugs, porn or any other addiction, the addiction will run your life. Studies have shown that the addiction alters the chemical balance in your brain.
Are you addicted? Find out by taking this simple smartphone compulsion test HERE.
It’s no wonder how phones become addictive. Just the bare basics of keeping up with emails, social media, event reminders and driving directions can keep the phone in your hands constantly, without even mentioning logging in for entertaining apps on your downtime. In fact, I would dare say in many scenarios it takes continuous constant effort to NOT become addicted to our phones.
Cell phone addiction has become common enough that doctors have started giving names to some of the signs of the addiction- one of which is “Phubbing”. Phubbing is defined as, “the practice of ignoring one’s companion or companions in order to pay attention to one’s phone or other mobile device”.
If you or someone you know is addicted to their phones, have them take the test mentioned above and help them understand the risks associated to cell phone addiction so that they can get the help they need.
Over the last couple of years, doctors have seen an increase in a new and unique type of injury to the neck. It has become known as “Text Neck”. Whether you are addicted to your phone or not, looking at your phone in a forward and downward position repetitively for an extended period of time puts tension on the neck muscles and shoulders that results in severe pain. Some studies have shown an increase of chronic headaches associated with text neck.
Signs and Symptoms of Text Neck
- Upper back, shoulder or neck pain when using your cell phone or any other handheld device
- Nagging pain in the neck or shoulders at the end of the day.
- General shoulder pain and tightness.
- Intermittent or constant headache made worse when looking down or using the computer
Text Neck Exercises
There are some simple home exercises that will relieve the pain to your neck, shoulders as well as headaches that are caused by the strain and pressure from text neck. They are:
- Exaggerated Nod: Move your head up and down in the motion of nodding your head. Ensure your shoulders and back is straight. This will counter the constant pull of your muscles when you are looking down at your phone.
- Downward Arch: This is great for stretching your anterior chest and shoulders. Stand on all fours (feet and hands). Raise your hips towards the ceiling. Tuck your head downward and under your body. Your body should look like an arch. Then take three deeps breaths while stretching your body.
One of the best parts about these dangers is that being aware of them is the first step to prevention and if you are reading this far you have already defended and empowered yourself against each concern! With these possible dangers in mind, you can keep yourself safe and enjoy all the benefits technology has to offer.