Photo: Boston Globe / Contributor
Remember a lifetime ago when they discovered cigarettes were actually a lot worse for people than imagined?
Well, this is like that for millennials and their cyber addictions. That’s right, millennials are on track with their computer, cell phone and tablet ways to rival the ailments of the silent and baby boomer generations who smoked their lives away in ignorant bliss.
We’ve all heard rumblings of futuristic afflictions — robots replacing humans and what not — praying it’ll never come to pass, but now there’s enough known to at least give you a heads-up about our heads-down lifestyle before you turn into a vegetable. Even you hardcore vegan millennials don’t want that.
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From your head, neck and thumbs to your waist, heart and back, excessive computer and cell phone use is potentially going to make your life more difficult than finding a Wifi signal in Satan’s colon, unless you straighten out, quite literally.
And we’re not even touching on HPV. Or are we?
The relentless feedback loop that many of us are trapped in, the one in which we post, wait impatiently and tally our worthiness, is a cyclical dopamine drip that our minds crave. Eventually, our levels get depleted, and feelings of worthlessness and anxiety, followed by panic attacks and insomnia, take over until we post again and get our fix.
It may not seem like a real problem, but depression and anxiety in America are at an all-time high. If you don’t think the recent invention of cell phones and social media are linked to anxiety, try going off your social media and cell phone for three days. Hell, three hours.
Terms like “text thumb” and “cell phone elbow” are getting thrown around the doctor’s office like bacteria in an E. coli party.
The gestures used in social media and dating apps — swiping, scrolling, dragging, tapping — were all foreign to our bodies, along with poor ergonomic setups and laptop trackpads, that our bodies feel strained and sprained if we don’t correct them, or at least stretch before and after. The same thing happened when mankind started to walk upright. Why do you think your back hurts all the time? Sitting on your cell phone probably helps.
While scientists debate (bicker) whether or not texting is tied to Carpal tunnel, they will admit it causes similar symptoms. That’s like saying your dog didn’t pee on your shoe, but it still reeks of urine.
The hip new epidemic that’s wrecking spines and adding weight to your shoulders is “text neck,” soon to be known as Shrek Syndrome, if I ever get my doctorate.
According to Mel Magazine, the typical adult used to be bent at a slightly more extreme angle for maybe 1,400 hours each year, but thanks to technology, they’re estimating closer to 6,400 hours of being bent at more than a 30-degree angle. Symptoms like knots, pinching, and lack of mobility can lead to spinal surgery, nerve damage and, worst of all, false representation on Tinder.
Bad (Broken) Backs
Some people have shit, cheap mattresses, but a lot of people are just getting into the groove of leaning forward all day at their computer, over their cell phone texting, swiping or playing games. Studies have identified that tech-driven millennials with a lack of exercise, excessive time at the desk and too much coffee are going from soreness and fatigue straight into full-on elder hunch-over mode. But doctors will likely give you an opioid for that.
Before long, the millennial generation will be known as the hunchback generation.
It makes sense: High-Speed Internet Is Causing Widespread Sleep Deprivation
Without enough sun, exercise, water and mind-work, along with too much coffee and excessive cell phone play, the result is depleted levels of serotonin, amongst other things, but poor sleep patterns, depression and panic attacks are not far behind. People who take their phones into bed are known to have terrible sleep quality, and likely less of it.
Devices should be black at least 30 minutes before bed, if not sooner, followed by cleaning behind your ears and bedtime prayers. Considering how you probably feel right now reading this, we’re guessing you have a half hour of begging in you.
Weak (WiFi) Sperm
Excessive cyber use, however you may use it, is linked to weak sperm counts. That, plus depleted serotonin levels, equal trouble getting it up, which leads to poor sexual performance, which leads to disgrace and embarrassment and, eventually, depression. A to Z, just like that.
All this to say, watching porn on your computer is ironically a lot worse for your peen than shoving it in a dark hole in the woods, potentially. Or you could just get a girlfriend, quit swiping and save your wrist from that (and compulsive masturbation) all at once.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Also known as Digital Eye Strain, the American Optometric Association considers “prolonged exposure” to cause a wide range of various eye strain and pain. Doctors recommend taking breaks every 20 minutes to avoid consistent discomfort, but one in four patients are said to complain about trouble reading excessively on their phones.
Then again, aren’t millennials into wearing glasses without prescription lenses? Science may never understand.
One of the first claims about the adverse effects of cell phones was the potential to cause brain tumors from excessive electromagnetic radiation. It makes sense, since Trump is on Twitter all day. You know, he used to be fairly articulate in the ’90s. It’s got to be the tweets.
Obesity in America is also on the rise, what with everyone finding out that you can skip exercise and eating well by just vaping, watching Netflix and effortlessly adopting a ride-share scooter instead of walking. The good news is we’ll never want for reality TV with a country this epically screwed.
According to interviews, doctors claim many of their patients are “distracted walkers” with embarrassing injuries. One doctor said that close to half of his patients are people under 30, and a lot of the problems include cell phone-related injuries, including concussions from walking into signs, foot and face injuries from missing the curb and, let’s not forget, the leading cause of millennial death: unintentional vehicle accidents.
In summation, think before you text because in the end, nobody gives a shit what you did today.