Admittedly, smartphones are lifesavers but like a double-edged sword, it also comes with some disadvantages. The smartphone, like any other invention is a powerful servant but a dangerous master.
In the spirit of some hazards that the use of smartphones pose, here are six don’ts of using the magic bricks that are smartphones:
Avoid using the phone while cooking, especially when using a gas stove.
Smartphones and cooking gas are not best friends. Avoid using your phone while cooking because if there is a gas leak you are not aware of and your phone heats up to the point where there is a short circuit, the small arc of electricity created, combined with the gas, could cause an explosion. Using your phone while cooking also includes using your phone’s torchlight to tinker with your generator when there’s fuel in it. The chances of this happening are slim, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Refrain from making or answering calls while your phone is plugged into a power source.
There have been reported cases of electrocution and deaths because of the use of smartphones while it is plugged into a power source. Although most high-end phone manufacturers have put measures in place to avoid problems that could arise from using their products while plugged in, it is safe to let your phone charge and refrain from using it while plugged in. Especially in this day when many of us use third-party chargers that we can’t guarantee their authenticity.
Using your phone while driving or operating heavy machinery is a capital NO
According to a news report from NTA in 2016, distraction (phone use included) has been identified as a contributing factor in 22% of car crashes in Nigeria. To avoid hurting yourself and others — or worse, becoming a statistic on a news website, — avoid making calls or texting while driving. If you absolutely have to make a phone call, be sure to use a hands-free accessory. The same applies for when operating heavy machinery e.g. tractors, bulldozers, Voltron, etc.
Excessive phone use could lead to posture disorders
Although it is not widely discussed, excessive cellphone use can cause posture defects. In AsapSCIENCE’s video on how cellphone usage changes individuals, it is explained that when we look down at our phones, our spine’s angle is equivalent to that of an 8-year-old child sitting on our necks. This is worrying, seeing as the average cellphone user spends an average of 4.7 hours on their phone.
Not only that, there is another defect called Trigger Finger where the finger is stuck in a bent position and snaps/pops when you straighten it. It happens when the tendon in the finger is inflamed and can occur due to excessive phone use.
Beware of the blue light
Multiple studies show that electronic devices emit a blue light which is known to alter the circadian rhythms of the human body and reduce the time the body is in deep sleep by blocking the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone). It is therefore advised that LED devices be avoided at least 3 hours before bedtime. Some effects of blue light may also contribute to eye strain, heart disease, obesity, cancer, and other health conditions.