There are many ailments associated with improper and overuse of technology including the cellphone. Teen Texting Tendinitis (TTT) is just one example. Texting Teen Tendonitis is a new syndrome caused by teens who are texting a lot, often for hours a day. The affliction affects the back, neck, arms and of course the thumbs.
By Prof Dr. Abdullah G Arijo
Progress and development in science on one hand has brought comfort for humans, while on the other, many so-called blessings have made humans to pay the price and Cellphone is one of these blessings. There are many ailments associated with improper and overuse of technology including the cellphone. Teen Texting Tendinitis (TTT) is just one example. Texting Teen Tendonitis is a new syndrome caused by teens who are texting a lot, often for hours a day. The affliction affects the back, neck, arms and of course the thumbs. Symptoms include pain in all the above, along with numbness of the thumbs. Therefore, there is a health alert for people addicted to texting on their smartphone, which pretty much means almost everyone under the age of 30.
Recent developments and advancement in mobile phone usage have resulted in a dramatic evolution of the mobile industry. The use of mobile phones has increased so significantly that it has become one of the most dominant influences on society in current times. Frimpong and his co-workers in 2016 conducted a study to see how often students use their phones in the classroom, examine mobile phone technologies available for learning, and find the effects of mobile phone usage on the students’ academic performance. A sample size of three hundred and six was chosen for this study. On the students’ use of mobile phone in the classroom, 93.5% have ever used a mobile phone during class hours with 91.8% using mobile phones in class to enhance their understanding of topics understudy. Also, 80.5% being distracted by the phone during classes and this was in the form of visiting social media site (31.1%), text messages (27.6%) and receiving calls (25.6%).
Overuse of cellphone or smartphone can result in several different physical problems that may cause permanent damage or be difficult to treat, including digital eye strain, neck problems, and increased illnesses due to germs, car accidents and male infertility.
Realizing the concentration of damages, French authorities decided that all French children under 15 will be banned from using their phones at any point during the day. French students returning from the summer break will no longer be able to use their phones during the school day.
Earlier this summer France banned all students under 15 from using all cellphones, tablets, and smartwatches at any point during the day. That includes mealtimes. The government is concerned that students are becoming too dependent on and distracted by their phones.
While a ban on cellphones during class hours was already in place since 2010, the new law extends to breaks and mealtimes. Schools are free to choose themselves if they will implement the ban for students over 15. There are also some exceptions to the ban, such as for students with disabilities.
Banning phones in school was one of Emmanuel Macron’s pledges while campaigning for president.
Under the new law, students must turn their phones off during the day or put them in lockers. Schools have also been allowed to independently deal with the logistics of how students will be kept away from their phones, a report said.
The law was introduced amid fears that students were becoming too dependent on and distracted by their smartphones.
French education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer hailed the legislation as “a law for the 21st century,” and said it would improve discipline among France’s 12 million schoolchildren.
Using mobile phones too much in today’s fast-moving and globalized world seems to be a necessity. It is almost impossible to imagine our day-to-day life without mobile-phones. It is one of the most successful inventions of the 20th century, which has become a convenient means of communication. Modern mobile phones perform many other functions as well; they can substitute for such devices as music players, cameras and organizers. Most of them also provide Internet access and texting.
According to the U.N. Telecom agency, there were almost 6 billion cellphone users in the world, with almost 86 gadgets for every 100 people. There is nothing strange in this fact, as modern people need phones in all spheres of their lives, professional and personal. But we do not notice how much we depend on cell phones and what effects their excessive use might bring.
There are data to believe that there is strong connection between cell phones and cancer. Although the data remains controversial, most scientists agree that there is a certain threat from using cell phones too much. It is reported, that people who talk on the phone for several hours a day are 50% more likely to develop brain cancer. The reason for this is the radio waves produced by mobile phones. It is calculated, that every minute the human brain receives about 220 electromagnetic impulses, which are not necessarily harmful, but which affect the brain in cases of prolonged impact.
One cannot deny of a sad reality, that nowadays many people, especially youth, experience lack of human contact, and they try to compensate it by mobile-phone communication, which is not an adequate substitute for personal intercourse. Adolescence is not an easy period of life, and at that time a young person is especially vulnerable. In cases of excessive mobile phone use there is a possibility of becoming addicted to the phone; the real world seems to fade in comparison with hours-long chats and hundreds of messages. These aspects cause psychological problems, as people start to feel uncomfortable in face-to-face communication.
In Pakistan too, just look around, you will find everyone making indiscriminate use of cell phone. In university lecture hall, back benchers desperately chose that area so that they can use cell phone. Once during oral examination, when the student, did not answer even very simple questions, I wanted to know the reason. I was shocked to know that the student was reading and replying 1000 SMS (full package). Hold on, I said to my student and told him that if it takes him 60 seconds in reading and replying a SMS, that means he is wasting 5 hours in texting the messages and that to me can be the only reason in decline of his performance.
There has been research on overuse of cellphone and its effects on social and academic status of young students. Very interesting report by Tauseef and his co-workers reveal that Pakistan is ranking 7th among the top mobile phone using countries according to World Fact Book. Most of the subscribers comprise youth. Especially considering the demanding academic life of medical students
The research further reveals that out of 308 students 97% had cell phones in which 81% students reported a change in their routine after getting a cell phone, 56% stated that their sleeping routine and other activities like games, exercise and other hobbies were affected, academic performance of 53% students was affected, 69% believed that they were distracted from the surroundings and 58% use phones even in company of others due to which their social relations were compromised. Some 84% repeatedly check their mobile phones to see whether they have received any calls or not.
Pakistani authorities must follow France and come up with a mechanism so that indiscriminate use of cell phone may be discouraged. Cell phone may be a friend, but we have made them our masters. In schools, colleges and universities, it is major cause of decline in academic excellence.
The writer is Chairman, Department of Veterinary Parasitology Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, Sindh