According to a 2013 UN study, there were more people who had mobile phones than toilets. It is estimated that by the end of 2016, the number of mobile devices will exceed the number of people on earth.
Locally, mobile phone penetration rate has hit 80.5% according to a July-September 2014 quarter report by Communications Authority of Kenya.
Every great invention has its drawbacks and your phone may be detrimental to your health and social life.
Here is why:
1. Spending too much time looking at your phone warps your spine.
Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, a spinal surgeon, estimates that hunching over your phone adds up to 27kg of weight to the spine, something that may make you need a surgery after some years.
2. Mobile phones generate electromagnetic fields (EMF) and electromagnetic radiation (EMR) even if you are not using them.
The debate has been on for a while and scientists now want the UN and World Health Organization to develop more strict regulations on the use of these devices.
They say mobile phones and other devices increasingly pose risks of cancer, genetic damage, changes in reproductive system, and memory deficits.
3. Social breakdown
Statistics show that an average person checks their phone 110 times a day and 84% of worldwide phone users cannot go a single day without their mobile device in their hand.
People have forgotten how to be human and interaction with each other is more on social media than face to face as said in the video below.
4. 'Subtle' medical conditions
Do you find it weird that you can no longer go a day without your phone or that you always put it under your pillow while asleep? These 'normal' practices are actually disorders. FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and Nomophobia (no-mobile-phone phobia) are mobile-phone-only medical conditions.
There are not much studies in Kenya but research from other countries on the use and effects of mobile phones can easily relate to Kenyans.
A 2010 UK study found that 55% of the population suffered from (Nomophobia) and the number is said to on the rise.
50% of in America and 80% of 18-24 year olds are said to be sleeping with their phones next to them as a result of FOMO.
Studies show that 55% of mobile phone users text while driving, an act that is now said to be 6 times more dangerous than driving drunk.
Statistics in America show that alcohol-related traffic fatalities have gone down by half since 30 years ago, while non-alcohol related traffic deaths are surging.
The negative effects of mobile phones can be witnesses even by those who text while walking, cooking and other everyday activities. They get involved in accidents due to distraction.
This is not to say that you throw away that phone: just handle it cautiously.
Image: Global Envision