Gemma Styles: Are Your Selfies Causing You Harm?
This is not a drill.
Too many selfies? Your gran might say so. The amount of time you're spending taking selfies and not concentrating on Eastenders is causing some real mental distress - to her if not you. There have also been reported cases of serious selfie addiction, now medically recognised as a proper problem, with people having real issues with finding the perfect selfie, getting enough likes... The list goes on.
With all this worry about the impact our phone addictions are having on our mental health, we might have forgotten to think about actual, physical harm - this is not a drill.
From cricks in your neck to RSI (Repetitive Scrolling Injury) to UV skin damage from your screen, more and more horrifying phone stories are coming out. 'What is the world coming to?!' we cry, wondering how we can possibly be so attached to these little machines in our hands.
But, fact of it is, we are and we're not showing any sign of stopping. Spending so much time attached to our phones is bound to be having effects on our bodies; the latest one to emerge sounds particularly hilarious... Selfie elbow.
One of the people bringing this new affliction to our attention is NBC's Today co-anchor, Hoda Kotb. Experiencing pain in her elbow she visited a specialist doctor, and after ruling out a ping pong injury, they realised that her penchant for a string of selfies was probably the culprit for her discomfort.
Speaking to ELLE.com, Hoda recalled the experience: “When you take the picture, your arm is up, bent in a weird way and you just click, click, click—think about how many you take: 20, 30, or 40. Selfie elbow, everyone has it!” Food for thought.
I quite like the title of this new phenomenon as it sounds like a genuine sporting injury (tennis elbow, which I will never have). I'm not exactly queen of selfies by global standards but I suppose, when you think about it, I definitely spend more time with my arm held aloft, pouting than people would have done before the invention of the iPhone...
So what do we do when our overworked elbows start acting up...? Rest and ice say the doctors. Or try alternating your arms. Perhaps do some light stretches before undertaking your selfie marathon? While it all sounds ridiculous, if you're actually in pain then these are options to consider! Years ago doctors probably scoffed at the boo-boos they dealt with from people who'd been hitting a little ball around with a sieve on a handle... Probably. Let's face it, I'm just trying to make us feel better now.
While our behaviour is changing then the results of it are bound to change too. Is this news telling us that we need to be taking more care of our built in selfie sticks, or is it telling us to put our sodding phones down?! Who knows, but either way we are a generation who cannot be stopped.
Maybe it's time to invest in one of those phone cases that sticks to the mirror for hands-free duck face action. Cheaper than physio, right? Smh.