Name: Technical neck.
Age: Two years old.
Appearance: The next stage of human evolution.
This sounds exciting! Are we all going to be cyborgs soon? Not exactly.
What the hell is tech neck then? That’s easy. It’s the hunch you develop from staring at your phone too much.
That’s less exciting† And less denying. The Australian Chiropractors Association claims that our compulsive use of mobile devices changes the shape of our bodies.
How? Let’s say you hold your phone at an angle that lowers your head 60 degrees. That adds about 27 kg (60 lbs) of weight through your spine. Now imagine doing that every day for a few hours. That’s one that’s broken back.
Wait a minute, you said Tech Neck is only two years old. Phones are older than that and ‘texting neck’ was identified as an ailment in 2011, but the pandemic made things so much worse.
It did? Month after month you lost normal human contact and had to communicate with the rest of the world via your phone. And if you didn’t, you spent your time doom scrolling through a barrage of the worst news in modern history.
That sounds just like me. Me too. Guess what? All that bad news was a pain in the neck.
Well on the plus side phones only have has harmed us in some way. Or two, if you count “phone thumb,” a condition where your thumb can become inflamed from texting for a long time.
Okay, fine, two ways. Or three, if you consider the claim that the blue light emitted by phones can interfere with melatonin production. Or four, if you count the eyestrain you get from prolonged use. And a few years ago it was suggested that people grow bone spurs at the base of their skulls to counteract all the horrible phone-related poses.
Please stop! Do you want to know the good news?
Yes! Something! The posture problem is easy to correct. You can do a simple stretch where you intertwine your fingers behind your head and keep your elbows against a wall.
That’s promising. Or you can try holding your phone at eye level to reduce the strain on your spine. Or make an extra effort to stay active throughout the day.
This is good. I can do this. On the other hand, there is a better way to fight tech neck.
This sounds ominous. You can always try to use your phone less.
Never! The bumps are worth it! What you want.
Say anyway: “The best way to avoid tech necks is to put your phone down.”
do not say: “You know, in a minute, after watching all those TikToks.”