Which of these gadget sicknesses do you suffer from?


The BYOD phenomenon means that practically every office worker today is likely to have a smartphone or tablet tucked away in their briefcases and handbags. Indeed, recent reports say that Samsung was disappointed with the sale of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone despite hitting the 40 million units milestone, while Apple sold 33.7 million iPhones in the last quarter alone. And this excludes the millions of other smartphones and tablets that are sold around the world.

The highly portable nature of these smartphone and tablet devices means that they typically follow users to the office. In the evenings, they are also likely to make it to nightstands or even under the pillow at night. Indeed, using these devices on the bed has become such a common practice that you can actually buy pillows designed with special sleeves for smartphones.

Well, the New York Magazine ran a piece late last week listing the health perils of our obsession with gadgets and mobile devices. According to article, recent research has blamed a number of illnesses on the use of mobile devices. I thought it would be a fun exercise to highlight some of the most common ones here:

Sleep deprivation: Experts say that bright lights in the face at night suppress the release of melatonin in the body, ultimately messing with your sleep cycle.

Nomophobia: This one's pretty self-explanatory: Nomophobia is short for "no-mobile-phone phobia." You did buy an USB battery pack so that you won't run out of juice for your smartphone, right?

Tendinitis: Overworked thumbs from texting can result in tendinitis, also known as "BlackBerry thumb" in some circles.

Cervicalgia: According to the report, a staggering 84 percent of 18 to 24 year-olds have reported neck and backaches in the past year. The result of staying in the "iPosture" position for too long on the subway?

Phantom-vibration syndrome: The mistaken belief that your smartphone is vibrating (or ringing). This apparently affects as many as seven in ten phone users.

How many of the above are you suffering from? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below or exchange notes with me via a tweet or email. - Paul Mah  (Twitter @paulmah).