You know it's bad when they start inventing words — nomophobia, text neck, computer vision syndrome. These are all conditions of the smartphone/tablet age, and there's a good chance you've got all three.
Most people have a vague sense their smartphones aren't good for them, but there's cold, hard science out there to back up the notion. Text neck, popularized by a doctor in Florida, refers to the postural pain associated with tilting your head slightly forward for extended periods of time. It can lead to muscle strain and headaches.
Computer vision syndrome comes from zombie-glaring at a screen for too long without looking away or blinking. It makes people squint, their vision is blurred or doubled and their eyes dry out or tear up. Up to 90 percent of people who regularly use a computer (or smartphone, which is, like, everyone) have computer vision syndrome. Thing is, there's an easy remedy: Look away for a bit. Just blink.
But that's not easy to do because of the other thing, nomophobia, which is a word mashup of no-mobile-phone phobia. British scientists created the word in 2008, but it became popular in 2012 when a widely cited survey found 66 percent of respondents had this condition. It's a real thing; people feel panicky and cranky without their phones. "Needing anything in order to feel normal and free from panic — whether a phone or three glasses of wine — is a disability," a psychologist said at the time.
According to the graphic below, using information compiled by these guys, most people are absolutely chained to their phones. Glowing rectangles are the last things we see before we sleep and the first we check when we wake up. They're hurting our relationships and literally killing us on the highways. One out of five of us report using our cell phones while having sex (for what, I dare not ask). Far too often, phones are covered in E. coli. That is, poop.