Smartphone Stress: Are the Phones in Our Lives Adding Unnecessary Stress?

Ross Quade | General, Health | 20 Nov, 2014 | No Comments

Almost 2 billion people will possess a smartphone by the end of the year, compared to last year. That’s a jump of almost 25% in less than 12 months! And by 2015, around 50% population of 15 countries would possess a smartphone. The sheer heavy-duty numbers speak volumes about our obsession with ‘being-connected’ always and our dependence on this tech gizmo. Though it’s a utilitarian device, yet the smartphone is also causing chaos in our lives due to the amount of stress that it brings.

Always Connected: Work-Life Balance Be Damned

We want to be in so much control of our lives that we are always online through our smartphones. Be it for checking work emails or to check social updates, we are always connected.  This causes further stress and alienates us even more from the real world. The constantly buzzing smartphone not just distracts but also throws work-life balance out of gear. Kevin Holesh developed “Moment” – an app to monitor how much one uses the smartphone and thus, measure the state of work-life balance.

Always Stressed: Leads to Numerous Mistakes

The need to staying connected all the time, even on the go implies that the brain is always processing information and it’s never at rest. Psychologists advise that one should take a break from their smartphones to distress and rest our minds. Stress leads to sleep disorders which in turn affect our ability to make sound decisions. Lack of restful sleep can lead to driving accidents, heart-health issues, and overall mental health suffers as well.

Decision paralysis: Information Overload

With the widespread growth of smartphones in the past four years, the consumption of information has increased exponentially. This implies that we are constantly bombarded with new information all the time. The humongous amount of data that our brain processes is leading to decision paralysis. It is a condition wherein the individual is unable to process the information to make optimal decisions. Shorter attention spans and distracted minds are leading to the loss of the ability to make good and practical decisions, where it matters the most.

Late-Night Texting and Social Chatter Steal Your Nine Winks

Sleep is one of the prerequisites for having a healthy mind and body. However, staying up late to check your emails and social media activity can have a profound effect on your sleep patterns. Lack of sleep causes unnecessary stress and other physical problems as well. Reported problems due to lack of sleep include skin problems and high blood pressure.

Nomophobia: Fear of Being out of Smartphone Contact

People are becoming so paranoid of being away from their smartphones that doctors have actually registered such a medical condition and also named it as ‘nomophobia’. More than 85% of the smartphone users have revealed that they experience very acute anxiety, (similar to having a loved one in the hospital), when they misplace or lose their beloved smartphones. The loss of data is a secondary concern and the primary concern is for the smartphone. This causes a lot of stress and it manifests itself in a number of physical health issues as well.

While smartphones help us stay connected, over-dependence on them can be intrusive and cause undue stress. Why add more stress to our already stressful routines?

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