Since smartphones hit the markets, we have become so devoted to these devices that we cannot function well without them. While mobile phones have affected us in many positive ways, there are nonetheless certain habits that majority of people need to stop as they are either dangerous to their health or wellbeing or worse, they can be life-threatening.

In this article, I will examine a list of six typical dangerous habits related with the use of smartphones, with the optimism that this will help many people who are guilty of this habit to refrain from it henceforth and subsequently avoid the likely negative consequences.

#1.       Showing Off With Your Phone

While it can be fun and maybe even give some sense of prestige by showing off your phones, especially if you are using a really flashy or expensive phone, it can also attract some unpleasant characters or circumstances. Because of their relatively small size, mobile phones make good targets for thieves as they are easy to snatch and hide.

Mobile phones ubiquity makes them very easy to move and transfer. Their high worth makes them a nice yield on a thief’s investment, rewarding them with hundreds of dollars for a fast crime. The more superior the mobile phone, the more cash it brings in.

According to a Cnet post by Jessica Dolcourt, “In addition to protecting your phone from scratches and breaks, a basic case can help conceal a distinctive phone’s telltale markings. That’s a detriment if you’re trying to show off your handset’s badass styling, but a benefit for maintaining a lower profile. Note: Even though they look better, a flashy designer case is like sticking a “steal me” marquee on your phone.”

#2.       Driving and Making Use of Your Phone

It may shock you to know the number of times people actually make use of their phones while driving. Making use of a phone while driving increases your risk of potentially deadly accidents. Below are some shocking texting and driving accident Statistics:

  • The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
  • Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
  • 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
  • Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
  • Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Travelling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.
  • Texting while driving causes a 400 percent increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
  • Of all cell phone related tasks, texting is by far the most dangerous activity.
  • According to an AAA poll, 94 percent of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway.
  • 21 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.
  • Teen drivers are 4x more likely than adults to get into car crashes or near-crashes when talking or texting on a cell phone.
  • A teen driver with only one additional passenger doubles the risk of getting into a fatal car accident. With two or more passengers, they are 5x as likely.
  • 263 teens (age 15 to 19) were killed as a result of distracted driving in 2016.
  • 10 percent of all teen motor vehicle crash fatalities in 2016 involved distracted driving.
  • The NHTSA estimates that every day 660,000 drivers use electronic devices while behind the wheel.

Apart from the dangers associated with using your phone while driving, it can also lead to a high insurance punishment. According toThe Zebra’s 2018 Distracted Driving Report “… for the first time since the advent of cell phones, car insurance companies are penalizing drivers who text or use their cell phones while driving. In fact, the average insurance penalty is up nearly 8,000% since 2011 – and it’s costing some people hundreds or even thousands of dollars on their annual premium.”

 While driving, don’t text, don’t look up phone numbers, don’t make or receive a call (unless you are using a hands-free tool like earpiece), don’t play or take notes with your mobile phone. These actions prevent you from watching where you are going and tend to make you lose concentration on the road. Driving is serious business!

#3.       Slouching Over Your Phone

Mobile phones and tablets have altered the way we get access to information and entertainment. Using of these gadgets impacts our posture and body mechanics in harmful ways that contribute to upper back, neck, arm and shoulder pain. Additionally, poor posture while standing sitting, walking, or in a still position can result to more than just upper body pain and rigidity, poor posture also results in a problem with other parts of the spine, for instance, the middle and low back.

MD, Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, Kenneth K. Hansraj, produced a computer model of the cervical spine. In a published article, he stated that this model revealed that the strain on the neck rises as the forward angle of the head increases.

  • At 15 degrees of forward tilt may equate to a head weighing 27 pounds.
  • At 30 degrees forward, the strain on the neck equals a 40 pound head.
  • The greater the angle, the greater the strain: 45 degrees forward equals 49 pounds of strain, and 60 degrees forward equals 60 pounds.

Over time, this places lots of extra pounds worth of stress on the spine, which result in the breakdown of the spinal discs. The harm doesn’t just leave you with long-lasting pain, it could also result in some huge medical bills if corrective surgery is required.

So how can you prevent this? first of all, straighten up says Kenneth Hansraj,  carry your device at chest height with head up, chest open and shoulder blades back. Move just your eyes downward. And then, take a break. Your neck is not supposed to stay stuck in one position for a long period. If you’re reading on a tablet or phone, stop every so often to swivel and tilt your head up and down, then side to side.

#4.       Not Reading the Fine Print

Concealed in mobile phone manuals, mobile phone companies explicitly indicate that phones shouldn’t be held close to the body.

Mobile phones release a form of electromagnetic radiation that the body can absorb. Although there have been several types of research on the connection between this type of exposure and different kinds of cancers, the results are contradictory and indecisive. That indicates that no one actually identifies the long-term effects of mobile phones radiation, according to the National Institute of Cancer, using a hands-free device is safer than holding the phone up to your head.

According to the National Institute of Cancer:

“The FDA has suggested some steps that concerned cell phone users can take to reduce their exposure to radiofrequency radiation:

  • Reserve the use of cell phones for shorter conversations or for times when a landline phone is not available.
  • Use a device with hands-free technology, such as wired headsets, which place more distance between the phone and the head of the user.
  • Hands-free kits reduce the amount of radiofrequency radiation exposure to the head because the antenna, which is the source of energy, is not placed against the head.
  • Exposures decline dramatically when cell phones are used hands-free.”

#5.       Not Cleaning Your Phone Regularly

Amanda Hawkins, in a post, 5 Ways Your Phone Is Ruining Your Skin“Newsflash: Your phone is dirty. Like, really dirty. It’s crawling with germs and bacteria that can cause acne and even nasty rashes. And if you take your phone to the bathroom often, it could also be covered in faecal matter.”

Research has differed on specifically how many germs are creeping on the average cell phone, but a Mobile phone study established more than 17,000 bacterial gene types on the mobile phones of high school students. At the University of Arizona, Scientists have discovered that mobile phones convey 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seat

In reality, your own hand is the main culprit when it comes to placing germs and bacteria on your phone. According to a survey by Deloitte, Americans check their mobile phones about 47 times per day. This gives sufficient opportunities for microorganisms to move from your fingers to your phone.

Amanda Hawkins recommends cleaning your phone frequently. “Just dab a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and lightly go over the screen and case (avoid the phone’s charging port or other openings).”