According to the statistical data of May 2019, Pakistan Telecom Authority’s indicators, the number of mobile phone users in Pakistan has reached 161.183 million. 75% of People in Pakistan Own a Mobile Phone. The use of mobile has become a necessity still it carries a lot of hazards, which can possibly effect health and ultimately shrink life.
Empirical evidence shows that the time we spend on our smartphones interferes with our sleep, self-esteem, relationships, memory, attention span, imagination, efficiency, and problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Yet there is another factor for us to reconsider our relations with our cellular devices. By continuously rising the stress hormones, the body’s strongest stress hormone, our phones could be threatening our wellbeing and reducing our lives.
Most of the health impacts of phones have been based on dopamine, a brain chemical that makes us build behaviours and addictions. Smartphones and apps, including slot machines, are specifically programmed to cause the release of dopamine, with the aim of making it impossible to download our computers.
This manipulation of our dopamine systems is why many experts believe that we are developing behavioral addictions to our phones. But our phones’ effects on cortisol are potentially even more alarming.
Cortisol is our primary fight-or-flight hormone. Its release triggers physiological changes, such as spikes in blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar, that help us react to and survive acute physical threats.
Mobile cortisol spikes would not matter if they are rarely used. But the average Pakistani spends four hours a day looking at their mobile and almost half of the time holding it within arm’s length. Mobile applications filled with social media, email and news apps build “a persistent sense of responsibility, creating unintended personal tension.
Your cortisol levels are elevated when your phone is in sight or nearby, or when you hear it or even think you hear it, “It’s a stress response, and it feels unpleasant, and the body’s natural response is to want to check the phone to make the stress go away.”
You’re sure to find something more distressing waiting for you next time you open your cell, leading to another jump in cortisol and another need to check your phone to make your anxiety go away. This cycle contributes to consistently elevated levels of cortisol when continually reinforced.
“Every chronic disease we know of is exacerbated by stress,” says Dr. Robert Lustig, emeritus professor in pediatric endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, and author of “The Hacking of the American Mind.” “And our phones are absolutely contributing to this.”
When we are always worried that something irritating is going to happen, whether it is a physical threat or an infuriating message on social media, the symptoms of tension will be increased even more. (In the case of mobile, this state of hypervigilance often appears as “phantom vibrations,” in which when their cell isn’t really there, people feel their phone vibrating in their pocket.)
In a normal 24-hour period that is thrown out of whack when we get fewer than seven or eight hours of sleep a night, our baseline cortisol levels change and evolve, which is all too easy to do if you’re in the habit of checking your phone before bed. In fact, this makes our bodies less immune to stress and raises our likelihood of all the above-mentioned stress-related health conditions.
Bring all this together, and it can add up to something more than a waste of hours that we spend compulsively searching our phones.
Please do share your views on this article in the comment section below.