What are the Negative Effects of Too Much Time on the Smart Phone?

Edited and published by Wellness Monster Louise

The Invention of The Simon Personal Communicator

IBM_Simon_Personal_CommunicatorFrank Canova invented the very first true smart phone in 1992 while he was at IBM. This new magic phone was marketed in 1994 by BellSouth and was called a Simon Personal Communicator. Not only could this phone make calls, it also sent faxes and emails and had a calendar, world time clock, calculator, address book, notepad and a scheduler. At the time, the people that could get access to one of these magic phones had to be wealthy generally. The term “Smart Phone” was not used until a year later.

In the beginning of the Smart Phone era, it was all sunshine and smiles, and everyone was excited about them and everyone HAD to have one! If you didn’t have a smart phone, you were a nobody. No one really thought such a magical invention could have any negative impact in our lives. Look at how it helps us on a daily basis:

  • For emergencies – to get help
  • Keep in constant contact with family and friends
  • Keep our calendars and schedules straight
  • Educates us on many levels
  • Entertains us on many levels
  • Helps with work communications
  • Helps us navigate around the world

There are SO many positive aspects to our smart phones. When you think about why phones were invented in the first place, to communicate, to connect with others, you can’t help but be amazed at where technology has taken us in such a short time in history. We use our phones to get help in emergencies, to inform others of an arrival of a new family member or the passing of one, to ask for a job or accept one, to offer an apology or accept one. For many years, our phones have always played a very important part in our lives, and then came the Smart Phone.

The Side We Avoid

Today we literally carry a mini-computer around with us at all times. These magical smart phones are not just for making a call anymore. Now that smart phones are no different from televisions, radios and computers, and we have incorporated them into almost every aspect of our lives. Take a walk anywhere you live and stop and just take a long look at people around you, and what do you see? People everywhere looking down at their phones. We are now sleeping with them, eating with them, showering with them and working with them. How could any of the phone manufacturers predict how the smart phones were going to evolve into an addictive hand held device? Now that we have lived for more than 20 years with our smart phones, the negative impacts are starting to show.

staring-at-smartphoneWith all the wonderful innovative aspects we experience from our smart phones, there are several negative ones that follow. Here is a short list for you:

  • Addictive behaviors
  • Depression
  • Spending too much money
  • Anxiety
  • No need for human connection
  • Violence
  • Body aches and pains
  • Electromagnetic waves
  • Poor sleep
  • Obesity
  • Accidents (vehicle or otherwise)
  • Isolation
  • Wasted time

We, as a society, pay greatly for the conveniences of smart phones. We pay financially, emotionally and physically, not to mention the time wasted. People give up so much time just in acquiring them! What does that say about our society? When people will camp out overnight outside of a retail store and wait several hours just the get their hands on a new phone, there may be a problem. What happened to the days when camping was about campfires, sleeping in tents and star gazing?

Studies and research have shown that too much smart phone time can affect our short-term memories and ability to concentrate and focus. Basically, smart phones can dumb us down. This is seen more and more when people get in their vehicles. You don’t need a study to know that cell phones cause distracted drivers who then cause horrible accidents on the road, and it does not stop the behavior. We see how people can become addicted to their phones but do nothing to change the behavior. We see how people will suffer with physical ailments because of constant use of cell phones, but do nothing to change the behavior. We see our children (all ages) struggling with emotional baggage because of things they see or hear on their phones but don’t do anything to change the behavior. We see how people are no longer interested in actual connections with others but do nothing to change the behavior.

Maybe it’s not so much the fault of the smart phone that is causing so many issues. Maybe it is humanity’s inability to change a behavior when the behavior causes physical or emotional or psychological problems.

At the End of the Day….

using-smartphoneThere is no doubt that our smart phones can have huge negative impacts in our lives if we let it. It’s like anything else we use in life that allows for a better, easier way of life. We need to learn to keep a balance.

This is such a conundrum. How can we, as a society or culture, get a handle on all this and start to make necessary changes to decrease these negative aspects? First we must establish that it IS a REAL issue and needs critical attention, and then maybe we can start to look for better answers. As long as smart phones make money for companies and are perceived as crucial to survival (many people act as though they will die without them!), these negative aspects will always be present.

We can become addicted, depressed, physically and psychologically disabled and dumbed down by the constant use of our smart phones, or we can learn to use them for the betterment of our lives and find balance. We can put the phones down, turn them off and return to REAL life! It’s really silly actually. If we were to use our phones the way they were meant to be, maybe some of those negative aspects would disappear.


Wikipedia – en.wikipedia.org – Smart Phone


SCMP.COM – South China Morning Post – Excessive Smartphone Use is Having Negative Side Effects in Society, by Jason Tang, published 08 January 2018


The impact of smartphones and mobile devices on human health and life by Leonid Miakotko

Photo Credits:

Smart phone addiction concept on red background. Hand is handcuffed to the smartphone. [ID 113598087 © Filipobr | Dreamstime.com]

IBM Simon Personal Communicator. [By Bcos47 – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IBM_Simon_Personal_Communicator.png]

Teenage girl using a smartphone on a bed social media and addiction concept. [ID 113193370 © Rawpixelimages | Dreamstime.com]

Young man using touchscreen smartphone. Concept for using technology, shopping online, using mobile apps, texting, phone addiction. Internet, male. [ID 121679982 © Piero Cruciatti | Dreamstime.com]