Look, we get it: We’re living in the future, and, with Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, it’s damn near impossible to stay off your phone for an extended period of time.
That said, it’s hard to ignore the tsunami of scientific data illuminating how harmful smartphone addiction is for your health.
Here are five facts to bear in mind the next time you reach for your phone at work, in the gym, and on your commute.
1. You’ll be happier
About 55% of people believe taking a breather from constantly looking at smartphones would make us happier.
2. You’ll boost your body image
Roughly 26% think social media is a negative force that affects our mental health and well-being, and contributes to anxiety and poor body image.
3. You’ll strengthen relationships
Around 68% agree that phubbing, or looking at your smartphone instead of listening, is ruining the quality time we spend with friends and family, and putting a damper on sexy time.
4. You’ll get sick less
Approximately 95% of phones harbor bacteria that can cause and spread sickness, according to a study published in the Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials. Sanitize your smartphone with an alcohol wipe to keep bacteria to a minimum.
5. You’ll lower your risk of car accidents
About 80% of people have spoken on the phone while driving. It might not seem like a big deal, but this leads to decreased brain function and can lead to accidents. In fact, 40% of study participants reported an accident or near-accident involving someone driving and talking on the phone.