Aside from the obvious dangers of texting while driving, there are 5 other small ways the habit can harm us. And the effects are so common place they might easily be attributed to general stress.
- Eye problems: we blink 30% less when we’re looking at a phone screen. Dryness in the eyes is a result, and we may feel and look more tired than normal.
- Headaches: a common side effect of busy lives, but all the more common when you factor in ‘text neck’ – the term Dr Oz has given to the neck strain cause by holding your neck at a 60 degree angle for prolonged bouts of phone gazing.
- Eventual near sightedness: our eyes are design to focus at a distance of 20 feet. ‘Close work’ such as screen based activities could result in becoming nearsighted sooner than nature intended.
- Blurry vision: this is usually a temporary side effect of screen work, but the enormous strain on your ocular muscles could result in permanent damage.
- Sleep deprivation: just keeping your phone by the bed is enough radiation to shorten certain sleep cycles, leading to poor sleep quality. Try instead to tune out an hour before bed. Should you wake in the night, resist the urge to look at your phone. No one would realistically expect you to like they’re posts at 4am would they? If possible, switch your phone to silent so that you don’t wake when your bank debits your car payment!
When driving, don’t respond to texts or social media, and only answer calls if you have hands free. Even so, talking while driving shows means you are paying percentage less attention to the road and other road users, so extra vigilance is required.