By Dahyun Lee
Suppose you have a day without a smartphone. From checking the class schedule to finding out the arrival time of the bus, all the information that could be found with just a few touches every day is alienated. In this case, most people will feel uncomfortable or anxious about not being able to use their cell phones all day.
As such, we rely more on smartphones than we think, from trivial to big. According to a study by the ICT Statistics and Information Research Office of the Information and Communication Policy Institute, the smartphone ownership rate in their 20s is 99.8%. For college students, smartphones are a necessity that has melted deep into their lives.
The spread of mobile devices has given us a convenient life. In addition to phone calls and text messages, leisure and work such as surfing the web, watching games, watching videos, reading and writing documents can be solved with one device. However, the infinite comfort provided by mobile has made people ‘phono sapiens,’ which is described as a generation that has difficulty living without smartphones, or humans who use smartphones as part of their bodies. Accordingly, we looked into the psychological and physical problems we face in the social change caused by the universalization of mobile phones and their risks and solutions.
Recently, people who hang their heads down while using smartphones while walking have frequent accidents. The problems caused by the increased penetration rate and frequency of use of smartphones are collectively called “mobile syndrome.”
Since it is a safety problem related to our lives, the problem caused by the spread of mobile devices is by no means light. However, now that it is almost impossible to live without using a smartphone, it is not easy to blindly stay away from mobile devices, which are considered the cause of the problem.
Professor Seo, a Korean psychologist, urged people to use smartphones in the right posture.
“It is very difficult to treat any disease after the pain occurs, so efforts to prevent it in advance are the most important,” said Professor Seo.
Smartphone users who use smartphones for a long time are used to writing letters with their thumbs. At this time, have you ever felt the pain in your finger muscles holding your cell phone with your hand and touching the screen with your thumb? In this case, one should suspect “Deckerben syndrome,” named after Swiss doctor DeQuerben, who first diagnosed wrist tendinitis. DeQuerveng syndrome is a type of overuse syndrome resulting from the long-term use of smartphones. In general, it is the best prevention not to use overuse syndrome, but it is difficult to operate a smartphone without using your thumb, so it is recommended to stretch your thumb and wrist frequently and lightly massage the tendon area with your fingertips.
Along with our thumbs, our wrists are also affected by the moment we hold our smartphones. Excessive use of the cell phone in a wrist bending position compresses the peripheral nerves of the arm passing through the wrist tunnel, and if this situation is repeated, inflammation occurs and “wrist tunnel syndrome” appears. This is also a disease caused by an accumulation of physical fatigue, so constant stretching and massage are needed. It is recommended to stretch your wrist back and massage your lower wrist habitually.
When in the right position, the normal neck maintains a C-shaped curve. However, when the habit of lowering your head and using a smartphone accumulates, the neck becomes straight, causing “turtle neck syndrome.” This is a problem that occurs when watching a monitor lower than the eye level for a long time, and in severe cases, neck disc can be caused. The best way to prevent symptoms is to pull your chin toward your body in the right position. In addition, you should always lean your shoulders back, straighten your chest, and keep your back upright.
When we acquire knowledge, we tend to store it as a kind of hypothesis rather than as a fact in our heads. Later, through experience, the right and wrong of the hypothesis are verified. However, in this verification process, all possibilities are not considered equal, making it easier to better collect information that matches one’s beliefs and ignore information that does not. In this way, a person has a confirmation bias, which is a tendency to confirm his or her original thoughts or beliefs. And this can be exacerbated by specific images and fields encountered by customized recommendation algorithms in the Internet environment.
How should individuals exposed to the media cope mentally to prevent confirmation bias? Professor Seo said, “When the results of their observations go against existing thoughts, they need to pay more attention to the fact that they discovered new things more carefully. They should reflect on whether they are right or has no room to think differently.”
He also stressed that he should actively seek evidence that contradicts his thoughts or have an attitude of actively communicating with interest in other people’s arguments and opinions.
Social media is used to communicate with people online. However, it is often used to represent and show off oneself now. Accordingly, people who often use social media feel relatively deprived by looking at other people’s posts and feel depressed by their shabby appearance. Professor Seo said, “Basically, social media is a space where you are exposed, so you should know that most people usually do not reveal their dirty linen.”
In addition, Professor Seo advised, “If the use of social media is not for empathizing and communicating with others, but only for viewing, it is also helpful to reduce the time of use. The most important thing is to raise your self-esteem. You need to make efforts to recognize and support yourself without comparing your value to others.”