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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Excessive use of SMS a disease: Experts

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in Business Recorder
Monday, 28 January 2013
KARACHI: Experts have established that sending and receiving excessive SMSs is a form of disease, the media reported on Monday.

Mobile phones have altered the way people communicate all over the world. Advancement in telecommunication technology has allowed everyone, especially youngsters, to remain in touch continuously through the most used feature of the cell phone - the SMS or Short Message Service.

So much so that social networking is on the rise because of the feature as one can text anything connected to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites on the cellphone.

How does it affect the youth?

The answer is simple. Excessive use of mobile phones is affecting the youth adversely. It contributes toward dropping erformance of students lowering their grades and productivity as far as their studies is concerned.

Another aspect of adverse usage of mobile phone is wasting time on long coversations taking students away from their studies, and loss of money.

As if that isn't enough, other major drawbacks of using mobile phones are disturbing students in class or lecture and using the device to send unethical or annoying text through excessive unsolicited messages due to which they can become victims of emotional, physical and psychological problems.

Adding to that can be loss, misplacement or snatching of a mobile phone, which is very common and can detract them from more important tasks like assigments or exams.


Experts have said that excessive use of cell phones may contribute to depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. However, these are preliminary studies and it is not known if the depression originated as a result of the cell phone use or if the cell phones were used more frequently as a result of depression.

Sleep Problems 

Loss of sleep is common among teenagers who use cell phones excessively contributing to stress and fatigue as consumption of more caffeinated beverages kept them up. Over a period of years sleep reduction may lead to cognitive problems and inability to multitask effectively.

Effects on the brain

There are two schools of thought on this. One is that excessive use of cellphones can lead to increased risk of brain tumor. The other is that cell phones stimulate and improve the brain. A study at the University of South Florida suggests that cell phone radiation can reverse Alzheimer's disease. But more studies need to be conducted before reaching any conclusion.


Studies have shown that the quality of semen in men deteriorated decreased with excessive exposure to cell phone radiation. Tests proved that cell phone usage decreased viability, sperm count, motility, and normal morphology of semen.


Addiction is another major cause. Teens without their phones constantly worry about missing a message. Problems at school from constant phone use, reaction to losing or forgetting a phone, or feeling uncomfortable when not using a phone are among some of the other symptoms.

The cell phone has become a major communication tool for personal use, even more so for teenagers and children. It is, therefore, important to consider what the long-term effects of excessive usage of the cell phone might be. And while studies are still in their preliminary stage and inconclusive, it would be safer to err on minimum use or as much as necessity allows.

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