If you are like me and majority of everyone else with a smart phone, my phone is my security blanket; I don’t leave the house without it and you can find it next to me almost all hours of the day. I have become so dependent and attached to it that I can’t even imagine a world without it. It’s weird to think that not too long ago we lived in a world without smartphones and without the urgent need to text someone all hours of the day, while constantly refreshing social media. I will be the first person to admit it is unfortunate how addicted society has become to our mini laptops. Do not get me wrong, mobile devices are a true blessing and an easy, great way to communicate with people. It is amazing how advanced technology has become; however, the problem is how dependent society has become to it.

Ninety-one percent of American adults and 60 percent of teens own a cell phone. The average person spends 144 minutes a day using his or her phone during a 16-hour period. There is an estimated 6 billion subscriptions worldwide and counting. There are several negative effects of cell phones and there are actually increased stress levels from those who use a mobile device. The constant ringing, vibrating alerts can take a toll on an individual. Researchers have found that high mobile phone use was associated with stress and sleep disturbances for women, and high middle phone use associated with sleep disturbances and symptoms of depression for men. Excessive cell phone use in young adults can be a risk factor for not only our daily communication skills, but also our mental health. Cell phone use can also cause eye problems from the constant staring at the screen. The small screen of a cell phone causes people to squint, sometimes without even realizing it. Squinting causes major strain on your eyes and can trigger major vision problems in the future.

Take a walk down the street and you will more than likely see people in every direction staring at their phones. Whether they are texting, surfing the web, checking social media, uploading photos to Facebook or the handful of other things a smart phone is capable of. Cell phones have created such a diversion in face-to-face conversation. It is a sad reality that our phones have taken over our lives so much that people-skills are actually declining. I fear the younger generation is going to lose its sense of skill when it comes to speaking with someone directly and not just through a cell phone. Individuals have become so connected to their smartphones and so disconnected to the reality around them. Not to mention the amount of deaths and accidents caused by texting while driving. It a text message, a snap story, an Instagram or a tweet really worth your life?

For most people, our cell phone is the first thing we see in the morning and the last thing we see at night. Of course it is not likely for someone to only use their phone when they absolutely need it, but it is important to learn to not be so dependent on it. There are too many negative effects of cell phone usage. I think it would do us all well to take a step back and enjoy the present without our smart phone glued to our hand.