Tyler is a senior in his third year of journalism. He enjoys swimming, the outdoors, and video games.
Is Cell Phone Use Dangerous?
November 22, 2019
Whether you’re at home or away, it’s hard to not pick up your phone every five minutes. But should you? Is there a danger to being on your phone for too long? According to various studies, this fear may be real.
In a recent small survey at FCHS, one in 10 students said they feel that they are addicted to their phones. However, after taking an addiction test, seven out of 10 learned they met the definition of being addicted. “I am surprised that so many people have to have their phone at all times,” said freshman Will Davis. “I think other students feel the same. We have it all the time, so why not use it all the time?” he added.
Yet research has shown that the overuse of cell phones can be harmful to overall health, and puts the user at risk of various injuries. According to Reviews.org, nearly 80% of people say they are addicted to their phones, and 62% check their phones up to 160 times a day. In some instances, that can be dangerous behavior. For example, nearly 50% of people said they have their phones out sometimes during driving, while 5% said they always use their phones as they drive. Phone use while driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents, at 1.6 million phone-related crashes each year.
Another danger of overusing your cell phone is blue light, the light that streams out of phone displays. Blue wavelengths are beneficial at day because they boost attention, reaction time, and mood. At night, however, this blue light has been found to contribute to eye strain, sleep loss, and can harm your vision if overused, making these wavelengths dangerous to overall mental and eyesight health. In fact, a recent study by the University of Toledo found that the blue light from smartphones and tablets appears to be changing cells in people’s eyes, and can accelerate blindness.
Finally, walking while texting or using your phone can be dangerous as well. According to Reader’s Digest, 60% of people texting while walking veered off course, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that it caused more than 11,000 injuries.
While all these risks surrounding the use of cell phones exist, there are ways you can stay safe. Methods include putting your phone on “Do not disturb” when driving and using a blue light filter at night. Simply turning your phone off, or putting it away when you should really focus on other things, can go along way toward reducing your chances of injury while using a cell phone.