There is 8 billion
population in the world, and over 6.5 billion of people owns a smartphone. And
shockingly, only 4.5 billion people have the access to a working toilet. So,
what makes this portable gadget so attractive and how is it changing your body
and brain? But first, I need a volunteer.
Who wants to be a
volunteer? Can you stand up and take out your phone? Now imagine you are on a
bus, with strangers surrounding you, and you don’t want to talk to them. Then,
you have your phone in your hand, and start scrolling through social media.
What would your posture be like in this situation? Can you maintain like this
and put down your phone? This angle might not seem as unnatural to our
generation, but it is actually equivalent to the angle of an 8 years old child
sitting on your neck. You can go back to your seat now.
I have done some extensive
research; Canadians spend around 5 hours on their phone per day on average, 7
days a week, 30 days a month, for years now. And our body is gradually changing
to adapt our habits every day. When the spine is adapted to our unhealthy
posture of sitting, it becomes a spinal malfunction called kyphosis, which can
only be fixed by physical treatment, very painful indeed. Therefore, we should
adjust our posture of sitting and put the phone up to a higher elevation, so
our spinal angle can be fixed gradually.
Well, since the distance
between our phone screen and our eyes are getting closer and closer, our eyes
are adapting to us looking at near objects, and this is myopia. As we learned
in science, the light rays only focus on the retina when the object is placed
close to your eye, and the image would be blurry if placed far away because It
would focus in front of the retina. In fact, Dr. Mike, the lead investigator
and clinical scientist of the Waterloo university says that: “Historically,
myopia started at age 12 or 13, but now it is showing up more often in kids of
six or seven years old.” In the 1970s, only a quarter of North American
population suffered nearsightedness, and now the number has doubled. It’s even
affecting nearly 80 to 90% of some Asian country population.
But what makes it so hard
to put down? In a racing game, when you break the old record, and your brain
generates a portion of dopamine. Because you broke your old record, the game
would reward you with even faster and better cars, which also causes your brain
to release more dopamine. These processes repeat over time and eventually
become the compulsion loop. And it is also the exact same loop that is causing
the addiction to serious drugs. We are never truly alone on the internet, and we
never have to be bored under the constant feeds of information. In which,
Compulsion loops can also be found in apps on our phone. They are designed to
constantly provide new content, and making them harder to put down.
The phone is changing your
brain too. There are two types of brain patterns: Alpha waves and gamma waves. Alpha
waves often connect to relaxation and associated with focusing ability. Gamma
wave often connects to conscious attentiveness, like doing math or physics. In
fact, experiments have shown that when a cell phone is transmitting, like
during a phone call, the power of alpha waves is significantly boosted, means
that phone transmission can literally change your brain.
Since we use our phone so
much, what does learning matter if all of the information in the world is just
one Google search away? if that’s the way you are using your mind, just
searching on the internet, finding information, and forgetting them very quickly,
you are not building knowledge. You are simply thinking like a computer, which
means that the humanity is assimilated. If you look at the significant monuments
of culture, they come from people who are able to pay attention in life, who
control their mind. And that’s what makes our mind to think more critically,
and in a creative way.
So, overall. Phones are
great in many ways, and extremely useful when you need to check something
online. But, many successful businessmen would take a smartphone vacation in
order to increase productivity. So guys, try to take one day off from your
phone and you will see the differences. Thanks for listening.