Does a smartphone have disadvantages? If you're looking for reasons to rather not use a smart cell phone, you've come to the right place!
Of course: the handy, digital helpers make our everyday lives easier and have countless advantages over the old cell phones, with which you can basically "only" make phone calls and write text messages. Smartphones are, for example, a photo camera, MP3 player, games console, encyclopedia, alarm clock, video player and navigation device all in one - and help us stay in touch with family and friends and basically keep up to date. So why should we do without smartphones, or at least use them more consciously?
In fact, there are many arguments against it, which are mainly health-related, but also ethical and ecological. In this article, I would like to explain these disadvantages to you now, so that you can make a conscious decision for or against the smartphone. Let's go!
Here you can find a short overview in advance. A smartphone...
- can be addictive.
- has a large, ecological footprint.
- can cause concentration problems.
- is becoming more and more expensive.
- deteriorates the ability to see.
- causes a "smartphone neck".
- takes up a lot of space in your pocket.
- is a status symbol that can cause bullying.
- is not necessary for survival.
- can cause obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- makes us unlearn to enjoy the real moment.
- causes radiation.
- puts you under stress.
- is a bacterial slingshot.
- stores sensitive data.
- makes you lonely.
- makes you sleep worse.
- can make you seem unlikable.
- breaks down pretty quickly.
- makes us unlearn to switch off.
- can put your life in danger.
- causes a text message thumb.
- has a battery that does not last very long.
- makes us unlearn to appreciate nature.
- has alternatives.
Contra arguments: 25 disadvantages of smartphones that everyone should know about
The smartphone is like so many other new inventions - they come onto the market and make everyday life easier. For example, it was the same after the introduction of plastic. Plastic has soooo many advantagesthat the disadvantages were simply no longer taken into account. But in the course of time - with the plastic waste on the beaches, the more difficult recycling and the harmful toxins - inevitably also the Plastic disadvantages noticeable and visible.
One should learn from mistakes. That's why we are now taking a critical look at the use of our smartphone. The following disadvantages of the small, technical all-rounder, you should definitely know!
1. a smartphone can be addictive
I noticed it with myself: the longer and more often I used the smartphone, the more dependent I felt on it. Over time, I have become somehow no longer complete and felt extremely restless when I didn't have it with me.
Added to this is the reflexive, constant reaching for the smart cell phone to get new information and stimuli - the biggest Danger came from the social media off. I have counted: I had looked at my cell phone a whole 70 times a dayeven though it hadn't emitted a peep. A real addiction to new stimuli - and a serious disadvantage of a smartphone that can have serious psychological consequences.
Tip: Does all this sound familiar to you? Then learn in the linked article how to create a Successfully fight cell phone addiction can!
2. a smartphone has a large, social and environmental footprint
The ecological footprint of a smartphone is gigantic. To produce it, the use of limited natural resources is necessary. This makes the device very expensive in relation to the very low average usage time. Extremely inefficient.
In addition, the so-called rare earths in smartphones Long transport routes have behind them. Cobalt (especially for batteries), for example, usually comes from the Congo and is often extracted there under exploitative conditions (including child labor).
The devices are then processed in South Korea, China or the USA. And then they still have to be transported to Europe. Those are pretty good reasons to take your Use smartphone as sustainably as possible or to do without it altogether. Don't you think?
Tip: By switching to an eco-friendly cell phone plan, you can already make your phone a little more eco-friendly. In the young segment of mobile communications offers from EDEKA smart the focus is on, for example, all-appliance recycling, smartphone repair and the use of regenerative energies.
3. a smartphone can cause concentration problems
Constantly reaching for the glowing, beeping, ringing or vibrating smartphone changes our brain. The regular distraction in combination with the reward of new stimuli and information is not without consequences for our ability to concentrate.
This disadvantage can particularly serious consequences for the development of childrenbut of course also have an impact on the private or professional lives of adults, for example. A conscious approach or even a Digital Detox can then help to again to become significantly more concentrated.
4. a smartphone is becoming more and more expensive.
Prices around the 1000 euros is now quite normal for a new smartphone. With higher performance, you can easily spend more than 2000 Euros. In addition, there are the costs of usage. Mobile phone contracts are also becoming more expensive - and please don't forget the in-app purchases that you make now and then. That is a disadvantage of the smartphone that goes to your well-earned money.
5. a smartphone deteriorates the ability to see.
Extensive studies show that the Frequent concentration on the nearby smartphone screen harm our eyes in the long run.₁ The task of looking over longer distances literally comes up far short.
Muscles and optic nerve weaken. As a result, the ability to see decreases noticeably. In addition, the eyes flicker and tire much faster. All the more reason, therefore, to leave your smartphone behind more often and Consciously reduce screen time.
6. a smartphone causes a "smartphone neck".
Anyone looking at a smartphone screen usually automatically adopts a forward-bent head posture. This increases the load on the spine, which is why the so-called "smartphone neck" develops over time. This Complaints in the area of the cervical spine as a result of smartphone use, are often also described with the term "cell phone neck".
7. a smartphone takes up a lot of space in your pocket
The number of pockets and their space are limited. Smartphones are much larger than the "old bones" of the past. Accordingly, they take up more space and bulge the trouser pockets. For many, this smartphone disadvantage may not be serious, but I still wanted to mention it.
8. a smartphone is a status symbol that can cause bullying
Young people in particular are willing to spend large chunks of their savings on a smartphone - and want to Always the latest model have. The smartphone has become a status symbol, along with expensive watches and clothes, among other things. Accordingly, bullying is more frequent, especially at school or in social media, if you only have an old or simply not the latest smartphone model.
Added to this is the increase in the so-called Cyber Bullying (threatening, insulting, exposing or harassing people on the Internet) about the use of social media with the smartphone itself.
Tip: What you basically against Bullying in children or also do against hate on the net you can find out in the linked blog posts.
9. a smartphone is not necessary for survival
Another disadvantage of smartphones is that, on sober reflection, you don't need it to survive. After all, previous generations didn't need it either. Therefore, in a conversation with our grandparents, from experience, can reveal a lot of useful advice.
Tip: Our Grandparents have countless sustainable life hacksfrom which we can all benefit. In the linked article I present you the most important of them.
10. a smartphone can cause obsessive-compulsive disorder
I had already mentioned that I felt restless when my smartphone was not near me. But many people even suffer from Anxiety disorders when they have not looked at the device for a period of time.₂ There is even a technical term for this: nomophobia. ("No-Mobile-Phone-Phobia").
Good to know: Smartphones can even cause paranoia. For example, people feel persecuted. Or they believe the smartphone (and the content on the web) more than medical professionals, for example. Logically, this disadvantage can also have serious consequences for one's own health.
11. a smartphone makes us unlearn to enjoy the real moment
The addiction to new stimuli and information about the device makes us miss unique moments or enjoy them only in a diminished form. That is a very decisive smartphone disadvantage, in my opinion! After all, we threaten miss our own life, for example, by spending far too much time following other people's lives on social media.
12. a smartphone causes radiation
According to the IARC (WHO's cancer research agency), radiofrequency radiation from smartphones is considered a "possibly carcinogenic".₃ Accordingly, the rays emitted by our digital everyday helper are also among the disadvantages.
13. a smartphone puts you under stress
A smartphone, as I said, can make you feel restless and quite simply stressed. This feeling is caused primarily by the constant availability and the huge range of usage options and the simple distraction of apps or push messages. You are regularly exposed to new stimuli and interrupted in other, everyday tasks.
14. a smartphone is a bacteria sink.
What else speaks against a smartphone? It's a real germ slingshot. No wonder! After all, we transmit bacteria, germs and other pathogens onto the display surface with every tap. In addition, we also hold the device to our ear or mouth. Of course, this increases the risk of diseases immensely, which is why regular cleaning is definitely recommended.
15. a smartphone stores sensitive data
Many people rely totally on their smartphone. Among other things, this damages their mental abilities. But it's especially hard when you lose all the important data that is stored exclusively on the device. Or when they into the wrong hands through a hacker attack advised.
There is also the disadvantage that your Usage data automatically to third partiesThe data can be transmitted to other parties, such as the manufacturer of the device or the applications used. Therefore, it is particularly important to deal with the data protection settings.
16. a smartphone makes you lonely
Due to the frequent use of a smartphone we automatically exchange real proximity for virtual proximity. You may have a lot of friends in the digital world on Facebook - but in real life there are usually far fewer.
You simply believe that you are not alone, because for the first time in your life you don't have to be alone and you can always write to someone. But sn the end, you usually lose social contacts and friendships..
17. a smartphone makes you sleep worse
Although there may be some apps that track your sleep and give you help to a better sleep the smartphone is basically a real sleep killer! Not only because of the stress already described - but especially because of the blue light of the display, which has an effect on our body that is close to that of daylight. It ultimately suppresses the production of the sleep hormone melatonin and disturbs the sleep rhythm.₄
18. a smartphone can make you look unappealing
We just talked about the disadvantage that the smartphone makes you more lonely. Of course, this can also be because it makes you look unsympathetic.
This usually happens quite automatically. For example, by constantly "playing" on the cell phone, while sitting at the table with others and actually wanted to talk. This suggests to the others, that you would rather be somewhere elsethan at the table.
19. a smartphone breaks down pretty quickly
In my teenage years I had a Nokia 3210. For actually 8 years I had one and the same cell phone for calling and texting. I didn't have to repair it once in that time. I probably could have used it for another 10 years if the lure of a smartphone hadn't been so great back then.
The lifetime of the mobile everyday helpers is nowadays only 2.5 years on average. Even if they could last longer, there are simply no more updates from the manufacturer at some point. However, the usage time is usually so short because the display and the battery quickly break down or because you think you have to have the latest model.
Good to know: Smartphones are often deliberately built to break faster. This so-called planned obsolescence Apple, Samsung and Co are accused with all regularity.₅
20. a smartphone makes us unlearn to switch off
Why it might be better not to have a smartphone? Because our mental health suffers extremelythat we constantly long to reach for the cell phone.
Since we constantly want to reward ourselves again with the next stimulus, our Attention span shorter and shorter. We simply unlearn, just to really switch off. This gives our brain less time to recover and process what we have absorbed.
21. a smartphone can put you in mortal danger
One potentially life-threatening disadvantage of smartphones is that it gets your full attention. It also gets it from many people when they are are traveling by car or crossing the street. Or when they want to take a very special selfie on a hillside. Accordingly, the addiction to the smartphone can also lead to death.
22. a smartphone causes a text message thumb
More and more people have permanent joint problems on the hand or complain of a painful Tendonitis. This is often due to excessive use of the thumb on the smartphone display. In this case, physicians speak of so-called SMS thumb.
23. a smartphone has a battery that does not last very long
With this smartphone disadvantage, I do not mean the shorter lifetime, but the shorter usage time of a battery. Due to the device's diverse usage options and background processes, it is simply drained faster than was the case with older phones. Who Save electricity wants, therefore, has another reason to do without the smartphone.
24. a smartphone makes us unlearn to appreciate nature
Everyone knows that the Time outside in nature healthy for us is. With the smartphone, however, we have an everyday helper in our hands that, in theory, allows us to use the Do not leave house at all to have to.
The addiction to the short-term stimuli and to new entertainment and distraction makes many people rather reach for the cell phone when boredthan going out into the fresh air. With all the short-term feelings of happiness, it's easy to forget how important it is for your own well-being to spend time in nature.
25. a smartphone has alternatives
Of course, we are (have been made) dependent on the smartphone in some ways. You seem to need it, for example, to generate a TAN for online banking, to pay for something or to book a ticket. But of course, this is basically possible without a smartphone, even if these Change meanwhile many people find difficult likely.
For example, you can make calls using your landline phone or you can use a older cell phone modelwhich only allows the basic functions of "making phone calls" and "writing text messages. The ticket is purchased in paper form, alternative TAN options are used for online banking, and payment can also be made in cash. In any case, it's not impossible to get by without a smartphone.
Make smartphone disadvantages aware and weigh them up
So actually, you don't need a smartphone. However, we are now used to its many advantages, so it seems difficult to use it less or not at all.
But now you know the main disadvantages of smartphones and can make an informed decision for or against the device. Be aware that smartphones are neither environmentally friendly, nor particularly social, nor healthy for you. And that you are not totally dependent on the thing.
So you can get rid of it altogether or at least use it more consciously and reduced to the absolute, essential basics. I have decided to use my Use smartphone as sustainably and consciously as possible. I have had the same device for five years and treat it with care. I use it as little as possible in everyday life - apps like Facebook and Instagram have been deleted. Since then, I've definitely felt better - and I'm convinced that it will also help you counteract the disadvantages of the smartphone.
Do you have any questions, tips or your own experiences with the downsides and shortcomings of smartphones that you would like to share? Then feel free to write me a comment under this post.
Stay critical and aware when using technology,
PS: The smartphone is also a contributor to the psychological phenomenon of the "Fear Of Missing Out". How you can overcome the so-called Fight FOMO you can learn now in the next, linked blog article.
₁ G. Tosini, I. Ferguson, K. Tsubota (2016): Effects of blue light on the circadian system and eye physiology, available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4734149. [27.12.2022].
₂ S. Gonçalves, P. C. Dias, A. Correia (2020): Nomophobia and lifestyle: smartphone use and its relationship to psychopathologies, available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342529451_Nomophobia_and_lifestyle_Smartphone_use_and_its_relationship_to_psychopathologies. [27.12.2022].
₃ Federal Office for Radiation Protection: Classification of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields by IARC (as of Aug. 30, 2022), available at https://www.bfs.de/DE/themen/emf/hff/wirkung/iarc/iarc_node.html. [27.12.2022].
₄ Star: The smartphone is the enemy - Medical expert gives tips for good sleep, available at https://www.stern.de/gesundheit/kein-smartphone-im-bett-mediziner-gibt-sechs-tipps-fuer-guten-schlaf-30603988.html. [27.12.2022].
₅ Utopia: Planned obsolescence: How Apple tricks you (as of 09.02.2016), available at https://utopia.de/geplante-obsoleszenz-apple-12099 [27.12.2022].