The Negative Effects That Your Cell Phone Is Having On You And Your Life

The Negative Effects That Your Cell Phone Is Having On You And Your Life

Put down your phone.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02563/mobiles-pic_2563674b.jpg

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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The Fake World - My Personal Experience On Instagram

Body Dysmorphia, Followers, and Posting Photos—How can Instagram NOT affect my mental health.

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The sticker on Kendall Jenner's phone says, "social media seriously harms your mental health." Despite her heavy presence online, she and many others are taking steps towards pointing out the dangers of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and other social media.

While it may seem like a source of inspiration, social media (Instagram in particular), seems to be causing people like me more negativity than anything else.

"People like me…", what does this mean? I am a 19-year-old female college student with serious body dysmorphia. By definition, body dysmorphia is "a distinct mental disorder in which a person is preoccupied with an imagined physical defect or a minor defect that others often cannot see." Those with the disorder often perceive themselves as ugly or obsess over ways to improve their physical appearance.

I grew up in the ballet world—one that emphasizes your weight and bases a large amount of success on attaining a specific body type. The ideal silhouette is long, willowy, and malnourished-looking. I have a more muscular build for a ballet dancer. Some days I see myself as a beautiful person on the inside and out, and other days I am the complete opposite.

My body dysmorphia comes and goes, but I know this: every time I open the Instagram app, I become consumed with my physical appearance and attaining the perfect body. I end up in a comparison game that I did not sign up for, obsessing over my imperfections and ultimately feeling unhappy despite all the blessings I have been given.

I initially created an Instagram to follow the trends—everyone at the time (when I was in middle school and high school in the 2010s) had an account and posted cool, artsy photos. I wanted to join in because I liked being behind the camera. Soon enough, however, Instagram started to place emphasis on being in front of the camera and now, seems to be a competition about who can look the best and show the most skin. As someone who is not always comfortable in her own skin no matter the outfit, it becomes quite the struggle to keep up with the followers, likes, comments, and appearance of being confident.

It was not until this year that I started to realize "the fake" in just about every photo on my feed. The "Instagram models," real-life models, and others post constantly because it brings fame, attention, and for some, confidence. I applaud anyone who believes Instagram is a positive in their lives, but many people that I know feel the same way I do—even without explicitly saying so. I am constantly reminding myself that people pay to have their photos edited. There are other apps like Facetune which are designed to alter the real-you into Instagram-you. I believe Instagram is wishful thinking—wishing you really look like what you post. While I take part in the comparison game, comparing every part of my body to famous models, I do not take part in the paid editing game. I do not have apps that will give me a jawline or thinner legs. I do not have an app that will change my face shape. I do not applaud myself on this, as I am more self-conscious than ever and have not posted a photo since February.

However, I am strong enough to know that the fake world on Instagram does not take into account real-life aspects like someone's charisma, personality, voice, behavior, etc. It does not guarantee you friends, likes, or happiness. It is taking a chance to put yourself out there, however you wish. It is up to you to interpret what you see and have a sense of your own self-worth.

With this being said, Instagram does come with some benefits. There are a few brave souls who are not afraid to post un-edited photos and who do bring awareness to the falseness and extreme editing. Instagram also comes with accounts not dedicated to selfies, but that serve as platforms for important causes such as human suffering, pollution of the earth, animal brutality, and the like.

Instagram is overwhelming with its positives and negatives, and it is up to me to decide what to believe and what to perceive as false. I find it helpful to take breaks from the app by logging out. Whenever I do decide to post next, I will do my best to post for ME, thinking about my own well-being and creating a positive message for all.

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