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Could Your Health Improve If You Put Your Smartphone Down?

 

It is not a common sight to see a college student, or anyone for that matter, using something other than a smartphone today in the United States.

According to redOrbit.com, as many as 45 percent of American adults own a smartphone. That is almost half of the population in the United States using smartphones today. Years ago, the percentage would be much lower.

Furthermore, a Pew Internet & American Life Project study found that young adults are most likely to own a smartphone. 66 percent of people in the 18 to 29 age group own an iPhone, Android device or other smartphone.

With so many people using smartphones, it seems like college students have the risk of smartphones controlling their lives. How often do college students use their smartphones?

Jenna Liu, sophomore in Media, says she is pretty much on her smartphone all the time.

“When I’m headed to class I’ll usually be listening to music on it or looking through Facebook and Twitter. I think it’s a good way to pass the time when there is nothing else to do,” Liu said.

Sophie Son, sophomore in MCB, also uses her smartphone everyday, and she does not wish that she used it less.

Son uses her smartphone so often because it is useful.

These college students love their smartphones, but could using smartphones so often have a negative effect on a person’s health?

There are several possible health risks that smartphones may cause.

According to Ragan’s PR Daily, smartphones may cause brain cancer. The World Health Organization issued a report putting cell phones on the list of carcinogens. Even though cell phones are on this list, it does not necessarily mean that they cause brain cancer.

 

Other negative effects that Ragan’s PR Daily lists smartphones as having are that there can be many germs on smartphones and they may cause infertility in men.

 

Emma Padesky, sophomore in LAS, thinks that it may be true that smartphones cause cancer. 

 

“(My smartphone) probably will give me a brain tumor because of the radiation,” Padesky said.

Other negative health affects may include taking away from one’s social health.

“When you’re on (your smartphone), it’s hard to interact fully with your peers to connect with them,” Padesky said.

Liu thinks that using smartphones may have negative health effects because, “instead of going out and doing things, some people will just sit around and use their phones to play games or browse social networking sites.”

Overall, however, Liu says that smartphones probably do not have a large negative effect on her health.

She sees smartphones as a way to increase our social interactions and help keep people connected with others.

Smartphones help people connect, but they can also diminish social relations.

A negative aspect of smartphones is that if people are attached to their phones, they may not be as likely to talk face-to-face with others. 

Why do we use smartphones if these negative effects exist?

“They make us more efficient in the workplace when we can access the Internet right away,” Padesky said.

“Our world is fast-paced and smartphones are able to provide that for us.”

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