If there's anything that reminds me that a sistah is headed towards 50 (in five years and some change but still), it's my relationship with my cell phone. Although I do indeed have one, only three people have my number. Everyone else (or those I don't mind having my phone number)? They have the digits to my landline.


Whenever someone even hears that I have a landline — whether they are younger or older than I — they tend to look at me like I should be an exhibit in a museum. But since I grew up with a landline in the house and the world wide web came to be when I was a junior in high school (which is truly unbelievable), I know what life is like without a portable phone or a handheld computer, which is basically what a smartphone is.

More and more, I'm seeing that is a good thing too, because since I'm not uber-dependent on my cell, I'm OK when I leave it in my car while heading out to meet with friends and there is no urgency to text whether I'm driving or even in the bathroom (yeah, don't even act like some of y'all don't do that…we all have at one time or another).

I don't feel like I'm gonna die without my phone.

And, as you'll see in just a moment, it's a beneficial perspective because although smartphones are mad convenient, too much of anything tends to have some downsides too.

Here are some ways that your cell may be affecting you without you even really knowing it:

1. Your Health

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How does constantly being on your phone affect your health? Let me count the ways. Constantly looking down at your phone's screen can put unnecessary pressure on your neck and back (it can also give you a strain injury called "texting thumb"). The multi-tasking involved with being on the phone literally alters the structure of your brain.

Between news sites, gossip blogs, and whatever foolishness your ex is talking about on his IG page, always being on your phone increases your anxiety and stress levels. Because most of us take our phones EVERYWHERE, they cause us to come into contact with all kinds of germs, bugs and viruses. Always wearing earphones with our phones can permanently damage our hearing. And, since six million car accidents are directly-related to texting and driving, being on the phone too much can also lead to hospital visits or worse.

Speaking of worse, teens who are on their cell phones five hours a day or more think about suicide a lot more than those who aren't. No website or phone call is more important than your health. Right?

Feature image by Getty Images.

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