Environmental and health impacts of your smartphone.

On a college campus or in a subway, it appears that today a majority of us can not separate from that little, mighty device called smartphone.

However, behind the smartphone’s ability to give us an instant gratification, there is a much darker truth: smartphones are more hazardous than one may think.

Its production requires an extraction of minerals and rare earth minerals that disrupt natural habitats. The inefficiency of the mining, a commonly used extraction process, is accompanied with a chemical cocktail that contaminates groundwaters.

Furthermore, the transportation of parts for an assembly, as well as the transportation of the final product uses fossil fuels. iPhones, for example, are shipped by air, which is one of the most expensive form of transportation and one that is extremely environmentally taxing as well. And even though companies producing smartphones have made some attempt to use recycled materials in its packaging, as well as have implemented some refurbishing programs for disposing portion of “old” devices, smartphone’s short life-cycle is counterproductive to all the energy it takes to produce. Plus, consider the amount of energy needed to charge your smartphone on a daily basis.

And, there is more! You can actually develop the smartphone addiction.

After analyzing quantitative data from multiple studies conducted in different countries, I can affirm that smartphones are not just hazardous to the environment, but also for our health.

The excessive usage of a smartphone will have a negative impact on your sleep. Furthermore, 30% of smartphone users will indulge in a more unhealthy lifestyle, such as eating more fast food and exercising less, whereas 25% of smartphone users will experience an adverse affect on their academic achievement. Other findings suggest that smartphone addiction has a negative influence on craniocervical posture and mobility, impaired proprioception, as well as impaired ability to recognize the right posture.

Additionally, there is a number of social problems that can occur from smartphone’s excessive use: depression and impairment of social and emotional functioning, damage to interpersonal skills, social anxiety and loneliness.

To conclude, smartphones are not the epitome of the sustainably produced item, nor smartphones are sustaining our health per say. Therefore, when the next iPhone model appears on the market, please challenge yourself to extend the lifetime of your current phone. Meanwhile, To conclude, smartphones are not the epitome of the sustainably produced item, nor smartphones are sustaining our health per say. Therefore, when the next iPhone model appears on the market, please challenge yourself to extend the lifetime of your current phone. Meanwhile, if you find yourself checking your phone first thing in the morning, or you find yourself throughout the day just touching and tapping the screen (two symptoms of smartphone addiction), please increase your real social interaction and frequency of exercising.

Resources:

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