Modern gadgets make life a breeze, but they can also leave you swimming in germs and make you ill. Pooja Salvi tells you if your phone is the one of the culprits
We’re not talking about the radiation that your phone gives off. While that may have been the focus of all things cellphone and health related in the early 2000s, there’s a new study every day that bounces this theory back and forth. However, you don’t need a study to know whether your gadgets are making you ill. Take our quiz to see if you’re at risk of health issues because of your phone!
1. Where do you keep your phone?
a) In my pocket, of course.
b) When in transit, I put it in my bag. Otherwise, it’s in my hand.
2. When you go to bed, do you take your phone with you to read or catch up on social media?
a) I like to stay updated and do some reading or check my social media feed before going to bed.
b) I take it with me, but only because I have my alarm on the phone. I keep it by my bed.
3. Do you constantly check your phone, even if there are no notifications?
a) Yes, what if my phone doesn’t beep and I miss out on an important text?
b) No, I like to ensure that I have a little breathing room from technology.
4. How would you describe your posture?
a) Honestly, I slouch while I sit without even realising it.
b) I slouch a bit, but mostly try to maintain a straight posture.
5. Do you carry your phone to the bathroom with you?
a) Yes, it helps keep me occupied in there!
b) No, that sounds very unhygienic. Do people really do that?
6. Are you the type of person who willingly shares their mobile phone with anyone who asks?
a) Yes, everyone has access to my phone.
b) No, I only hand it over if someone really needs to use my phone.
7. Do you regularly take the time to clean your phone properly?
a) Like I have time for that! I simply wipe the screen on my jeans.
b) I use a spare cloth to do this.
8. Do you use a Bluetooth hands-free device or headset to answer your phone?
a) No, it’s almost always attached to my ear.
b) Yes, especially when I’m preoccupied.
Mostly As There’s no point looking for another reason; if you’re sick all the time, you can blame your phone! Even if you don’t realise it, your phone could be the reason you’re feeling low, fatigued, devoid of energy or under the weather. Apart from the suspected radiation, your phone seems to be a breeding ground for germs, especially if you’re always taking it into the bathroom and sharing it freely. The constant glare from the screen can give you headaches and an addiction to social media can leave you feeling depressed! Also, do you really need to take it to bed too? Our box above should give you a clear understanding of how your phone habits are affecting your health.
Mostly Bs You aren’t as bad as the Mostly As, but we can’t tell for sure if you are the healthiest. If you have a reason (apart from curiosity) for taking this quiz, it does mean that you aren’t in the best of health. If your phone isn’t the reason you’re sick all the time, it could be because your immunity is low. That aside, your phone habits seem completely normal. Keep up the good work.
What your mobile can do to you
Now that you know whether your phone habits are the reason you’re falling ill all the time, take a look at what your phone could be doing to damage your health.
The constant checking increases anxiety If you constantly check your phone even when you haven’t received a notification, you’re showing signs of anxiety. Psychologists have identified a new condition called nomophobia, which is exactly what it sounds like — a ‘no mobile phone’ phobia. It may sound comical, but could actually exist! The condition is affecting more young people every day and manifests as signs of anxiety, distraction and restlessness.
Cybersickness is real When you stare at a digital screen for too long, you strain your eyes. Cybersickness occurs when you stare at your computer and mobile screen for too long and you get motion sickness symptoms. This is because your eyes cannot differentiate between virtual (computers and mobiles) and actual reality. The only way to prevent this is to avoid taking your phone to bed with you and making sure that you don’t read in the dark.
Taking your phone to the bathroom is helping to spread germs You may pass the time, but it isn’t the healthiest habit. Mobile phones carry a surprisingly high amount of germs — definitely more than a bathroom door handle or toilet seat. Your phone already houses thousands of colonies of bacteria. You don’t want any more transferred from your toilet, do you?