LIFE

10 Super-Surprising Things Everyone Needs To Know About Their Phone

by Jess Catcher
Jess grew up in Oklahoma before moving to New York to become a writer. She has a cat named Agnes.

There are many amazing ways in which a smartphone benefits our daily lives. However, while we tend to focus on the positive aspects of constantly being connected to those we love and having information at our fingertips, there are also plenty of ways in which we are using these important tools incorrectly.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m pretty addicted to my own device, but that just means it’s all the more important for me to know just how much it is really impacting my day-to-day life.

I’ve heard a few statistics about society’s collective relationship with smartphones, but I had no idea just how deeply those things could affect our physical and emotional health — or how dangerous some seemingly innocent actions could really be.

Take a look at the surprising list of things we should all know about the phones we hold in our hands.

Let us know in the comments if we missed anything and be sure to SHARE with your loved ones!

1. Updates Won't Actually Make It Slower

Phone update

It’s a common misconception that every time you update the operating system on your phone, it gets bogged down, therefore making it run slower and last for less time — but that simply isn’t the case.

The unfortunate truth is that all devices wear themselves out, and it depends on a number of variables between different users. Also, you could be putting your information at risk when security bugs pop up and your version isn’t protected with an up-to-date system.

2. Your Case Clings To Ickiness If You Ignore It

Phone cases

Having a case is great for preventing damage when you accidentally drop your phone, but it’s important to remember to take it off every now and then to give everything a good wipe down.

Otherwise, when you go to swap it out with a new adorable case you’ve found, you might also discover a glob of alarming gunk that’s been leaking germs on your hands and face for months.

3. Hackers Love When You Charge It In Public

Phone charging station

The public ports in places like airports and conference centers might seem like a godsend when you’re running low without your own portable charging options, but your USB cord might be leaving you vulnerable to having your info infiltrated by bad guys.

Investing in your own portable charger might be your safest option for staying powered up while on the go.

4. Tiny Bugs Can Be A Real Problem

Ant close-up

No, not the kind spies use to eavesdrop on their targets — unless, of course, that happens to be your line of business. Instead, the warm crevices inside your mobile phone could very well be inhabited by creepy crawly insects.

Studies in 2013 found a particularly nasty breed of “crazy ants” who were actually attracted to the flavor of electronic devices. These ants seek out such devices and burrow inside them for a snack. Mites and other minuscule critters could be lurking, as well, but a simple solution is to carefully clean all the nooks and crannies now and then.

5. Taking It To The Bathroom Can Be As Bad As Eating Raw Meat

Grocery meat

Doctors recommend keeping your phone out of the bathroom, rather than using it to kill time while you take care of your business. The bathroom may provide the potential transfer of germs, like salmonella and e. coli, as well as other bacteria that can cause staph infections.

6. Your Pocket Lint Is Probably Clogging It Up

Phone in pockeet

If you’ve ever had to take your phone to a repair shop because the charging port or headphone jack decided to stop working, it’s likely because pesky lint wriggled its way into those areas and was refusing to budge.

Even if you try blowing on them, like old videogames back in the day, you’re probably just lodging the bits in deeper.

You can use a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip to take care of any specks in the headphone jack. However, the crevice of the charging port is better left to professionals to clean up since most models require opening up the casing.

7. Over-Checking It Can Cause Stress

Checking phone

Though most of us think of our smartphones as helpful when it comes to easily getting directions or looking up information while we’re out and about, not to mention keeping us in contact with our loved ones when we need them, studies have shown that overuse can also add a lot of tension.

Individuals participating in research with the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, found they were more prone to stress, sleep disturbances, and even symptoms of depression when they spent overly excessive amounts of time on their phones. Clearly, it’s important for everyone to take time to disengage themselves from the device for a little while each day.

8. Texting Too Much Can Be A Pain In The Neck

Neck x-ray

The experts at Spine Health literally call the aches we develop from looking down at our phones “text neck,” something that can start early for young users. Symptoms include sharp, chronic neck pain, tightness in the shoulder muscles, and pinched nerves that can radiate down your arms and hands.

You can prevent the pain by holding your phone, or any other screen, at eye level rather than leaning down.

9. Not Taking Breaks Can Affect Your Vision

Blurry vision

I’ve been in denial about this myself, but then my optometrist confirmed it when I went in for a checkup and had to up my prescription. For a phone-obsessed person such as myself, it’s no wonder my peepers become pretty fatigued over time.

Optometrists recommend following the “20-20-20 rule,” which means for every 20 minutes of screen time you spend, you should look away at something at least 20 feet from you for about 20 seconds.

10. Your Friends Probably Want You To Put It Down

Phone with friends

In two different studies from the United Kingdom, researchers observed how the presence of one person’s phone while having a face-to-face conversation with someone made that other person feel negatively toward them and fostered a lack of trust.

Try simply leaving your phone in your pocket or purse while spending time with your loved ones, checking it less frequently and only responding to emergency situations.

Did we miss any hidden issues you’ve discovered about your phone? Let us know below, and be sure to SHARE with your friends!