Photo Credit: depositphotos.com
From the youngest to the oldest, almost everyone I know has a smartphone. They certainly make life better for a number of reasons: They are ideal in emergency situations, you can get in touch with family or friends 24/7, inform people of last-minute changes, arrange impromptu plans, and you can have your camera, stereo, GPS and computer at your fingertips anytime, anywhere. Unfortunately, they also have some downsides, especially if you care about your looks.
Experts weigh in on this subject and point out how smartphones can sabotage your good looks. Here, a good, hard look at the ugly side of cellphone use:
POOR POSTURE: Looking down at your cell phone causes you to slouch your shoulders and strain your neck, which just might cause serious damage to your posture. Some people even lose height in the process. “I see up to 10 patients a week complaining of severe neck and shoulder pain. When asked how often they use their phones the typical response is all the time. When pain becomes chronic and severe, surgery has to be considered,” explains Dr. Richard Samperisi, CoFounder of Campus Chiropractic Center at Florida International University & Functional Medicine Practitioner.
PREMATURELY AGED EYES AND NECK: Conditions like eye strain, under-eye bags, fine lines and wrinkles, blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches, and even necklines and wrinkling (aka “tech neck”) can all be blamed on excessive cell phone use. New Bern, North Carolina plastic surgeon Dr. John Zannis explains that a combination of surgical and non-surgical procedures that address under eye bags, drooping and sagging usually range from $5,000 – $10,000 with a recovery time of up to 2 weeks.
If you follow a diligent skincare regimen but still experience breakouts, especially around your chin and cheek area, the culprit just might be your smartphone. “Our cell phones are filled with bacteria. We are continuously touching them with dirty hands, throwing them in our bags, stuffing them in our pockets or putting them on counter tops. Then without even thinking twice we put our phones right up to our ears where all of that bacterium from those dirty areas wreak havoc on our face,” offers Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Kaly Papantoniou. She recommends frequent wipe downs of your device and using a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid cleanser to keep bacteria from building up.
HORRIBLE MANNERS: When you’re out in public, all you have to do is look around and you’ll see people hanging out in each others company but not necessarily engaging with each other. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. If you’re going to spend time together, then spend time together and enjoy each other’s company! Without a doubt, cell phone use is negatively influencing many a relationship. “When we focus more on our digital lives rather than the individuals we are with; we are not only giving off the impression that we do not care about what they have to say, we are also letting valuable and meaningful moments pass us by,” explains Dr. Sanam Hafeez a New York City based neuropsychologist and teaching faculty at Columbia University. She suggests putting the phone down and even going cell-free twice a week.
Like most people, I do take pride in my appearance, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to ditch my cell phone for good. So, what’s the solution? Limit your cell phone time as much as possible and do take Dr. Hafeez’s advice and go cell phone free. I plan to do it as often as possible and can’t wait to see the difference.