Our world today is full of screens. By the time we get home from work after a long day’s work, we have come into contact with more screens than we can care to count. From our television sets to devices to billboards by the roadside, looking at screens seems to be something we do a lot without even realizing. The dawn of mobile technology has made screens even more unavoidable in our lives.
At the mention of the term mobile technology, many people understandably think about mobile phones. The mobile phone is ubiquitous proof of how technology has evolved since the latter part of the last millennium. However, it doesn’t fully capture the extensive range of mobile technology or other hardware devices and software facilities designed to work in compliance with mobile phones.
Mobile technology refers to any mobile application that allows for the operation or transfer of data on an Internet-enabled hand-held device. Some of these devices worth mentioning include notebook computers, tablets, personal digital assistants (PDAs), smartphones, smartwatches, virtual reality (VR) goggles, credit card payment terminals, etc. These devices are unique in their portability and multi-functionality. They are exclusively built to work in tandem with mobile technology software’s underlying infrastructure.
However, while mobile technology devices are powerful and helpful tools that have seamlessly enhanced how we relate with other people and ensure higher efficiency in how we work. However, there is an often-neglected aspect of how these electronic devices influence our senses. Especially considering how much time we spend engaging them and our priority on indulging in these engagements. Screen times of these mobile gadgets are definitely up and on the rise.
Mobile technology has also augmented most enthusiasts’ viewing experience, with high resolution and multidimensional displays, creating a symbiotic relationship between virtual reality and the real world. According to The Franklin Institute, the terminology “virtual reality” was first used by Jaron Lanier, founder of VPL Research, in the 1980s. He began to develop the gear (i.e., goggles and gloves) to experience what he daubed as “virtual reality.” This enhancement has added depth to our perception of motion and color, innovatively and artistically.
The downside to this is that constant or habitual exposure to displays of this nature could negatively impact our visual senses. Prolonged exposure could lead to optical strain, tiredness, migraines, and eye infections. These will result in a temporary or permanent loss of sight, partly due to the electromagnetic blue light these displays emit if left unchecked or untreated. With the unfortunate rise of nomophobia, a disorder associated with an unhealthy attachment to mobile devices, there is now an increased negative impact of prolonged exposure to mobile screens.
The same can be said of the audio output of mobile technology devices, from headsets that allow us to have a better appreciation for music, voice processing hearing-aids capable of filtering and limiting the effect of harmful sounds while in transit in a noisy environment. These devices are rarely used in isolation, as they are designed to be adaptable and compatible with other mobile technology devices like smartphones and mp3 players.
However, while these technologies generally enhance the hearing experience, excessive usage, especially at volumes over recommended levels, has led to a marked rise in ear damage and hearing loss issues. There have been many instances where some of these mobile technology devices have hindered the user’s sense of awareness, thereby causing avoidable accidents, some of which have been fatal. Countries like Japan are witnessing an upsurge in young people walking into stationary objects and getting run over by cars due to a lack of attention paid to real-life events while focused on their devices.
The use of mobile technology is teetering to the point of addiction. People are so glued to their mobile devices that it becomes a psychological vice that gnaws at their waking state’s sanity. Like we have alcoholics and drunk junkies, I can clearly say that many people have become mobileholics. To learn more about this, check out the Oaekpost exclusive article on the subject titled, “Mobileholism: The Dangers of Technological Addiction.”
So, while it would be virtually impossible to stop using mobile devices, care must be taken to avoid the adverse side effects. Do not spend excessive time looking at your mobile screens or with your headphones on a high volume. Take time off from your devices to ensure that you do not get addicted to using them. Turn down the brightness of your screen. If possible, buy anti-glare glasses to protect your eyes while reading on your laptop. Avoid cheap or damaged earphones, and most importantly, watch where you are going. We want to make decisions that make sense to protect our visual and auditory senses from the adverse effects of mobile screen exposures. You don’t want to end up another casualty.