By Dahyun Lee
Suppose you go 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 keystrokes each day is alienated. In this case, most people will feel uncomfortable or anxious that they cannot use their cell phone all day.
As such, we rely on smartphones more than we realize, from the trivial to the grand. According to a study by the Office of Statistics and ICT Research at the Information and Communications Policy Institute, the rate of smartphone ownership in their twenties is 99.8%. For students, smartphones are a necessity that has become deeply embedded in their lives.
The spread of mobile devices has given us a convenient life. In addition to phone calls and text messages, hobbies and work such as surfing the web, watching games, watching videos, reading and writing documents can be solved with one device. However, the endless convenience provided by mobile has made people “phono sapiens”, which is described as a generation that struggles to live without a smartphone, or humans who use smartphones as part of their bodies. Accordingly, we looked at the psychological and physical problems we face in the social change brought about by the universalization of mobile phones and their risks and solutions.
Recently, people who lower their heads while using smartphones while walking have frequent accidents. The problems caused by the increase in the penetration rate and frequency of smartphone use are collectively referred to as “mobile syndrome”.
Since this is a security issue related to our lives, the problem caused by the spread of mobile devices is by no means slight. 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 believed to be 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 a disease after the onset of pain, so efforts to prevent it in advance are the most important,” Professor Seo said.
Smartphone users who have been using smartphones for a long time are used to writing letters with their thumbs. At that time, have you ever felt the pain in your finger muscles when holding your mobile phone with your hand and touching the screen with your thumb? In this case, one should suspect “Deckerben syndrome”, named after the Swiss doctor DeQuerben, who first diagnosed tendonitis in the wrist. DeQuerveng syndrome is a type of overuse syndrome resulting from long-term smartphone use. In general, it is the best prevention not to use overuse syndrome, but it is difficult to use a smartphone without using your thumb, so it is recommended to frequently stretch your thumb and wrist and lightly massage the fingertip tendon area.
In addition to our thumbs, our wrists are also affected by when we hold our smartphones. Excessive cell phone use in the wrist flexion 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” develops. It is also a disease caused by an accumulation of physical fatigue, so constant stretching and massage are necessary. It is recommended to stretch your wrist backwards and massage your lower wrist in the usual way.
When in the correct position, the normal neck maintains a C-shaped curve. However, when the habit of lowering the head and using a smartphone accumulates, the neck becomes straight, causing the turtleneck”. This is a problem that occurs when looking at a monitor lower than eye level for a long time, and in severe cases a neck disc can be caused. The best way to prevent symptoms is to pull your chin towards your body in the correct position. Also, you should always lean your shoulders back, straighten your chest, and keep your back straight.
When we acquire knowledge, we tend to store it as some sort of assumption rather than fact in our heads. Later, through experience, the good and the bad of the hypothesis are verified. However, in this verification process, not all possibilities are considered equal, making it easier to collect information that matches one’s beliefs and ignore information that does not match. In this way, a person has confirmation bias, which is a tendency to confirm their original thoughts or beliefs. And this can be exacerbated by specific images and fields encountered by personalized recommendation algorithms in the Internet environment.
How should individuals exposed to media cope mentally to avoid confirmation bias? Professor Seo said: “When the results of their observations run counter to existing thoughts, they should pay more attention to the fact that they discovered new things more carefully. They should ask themselves if they are right or if they don’t have the possibility to think differently.
He also stressed that he should actively seek evidence that contradicts his thoughts or have an active communicative attitude with interest in the arguments and opinions of others.
Social media is used to communicate with people online. However, it is often used to represent and show off now. As a result, people who often use social media feel relatively helpless 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 don’t usually reveal their dirty laundry.”
In addition, Professor Seo advised, “While the use of social media is not intended to empathize and communicate with others, but only for visualization purposes, it is also useful to reduce the usage time. The most important thing is to increase your self-esteem. You need to make efforts to recognize and support yourself without comparing your value to that of others.