ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s the first thing you likely check every morning, your smartphone. Technology is great for connecting us with friends and family, getting work done, staying up to date with news, as well as watching movies or listening to music.
Recently, Forbes.com released information from a new survey that showed Americans check their smart phones or tablets more than nine billion times per day. About half of those surveyed check their phones in the middle of the night. That’s about 100 million people in the U.S. including New Mexicans.
But like most things in life, too much can be a bad thing. KRQE News 13 spoke with Doctor Brendan Cavanaugh about your health and what he said may have you thinking about disconnecting soon.
“It can definitely contribute to anxiety and anxiety is a big contributor to heart disease,” Dr. Cavanaugh of the New Mexico Heart Institute said.
Dr. Cavanaugh says over the course of a decade he’s seen the number of people suffering from anxiety increase dramatically. He says a big factor is our phones.
“News is coming through constantly on our phones. Text messages are going on constantly and people have decided to communicate with one another via text,” said Dr. Cavanaugh.
It’s this constant influx of information that Dr. Cavanaugh says is causing stress and anxiety resulting in chest pain and, in worst case scenarios, can lead to heart disease.
“The stress that they have a lot of it comes from Facebook or texting. They get bad news all day long,” said Dr. Cavanaugh.
Dr. Cavanaugh says he’s now prescribing something you can’t get at the drug store. He’s telling his patients to disconnect.
“Closing your eyes for 20 minutes twice a day, turning your phone off, closing your door, not conversing with people, watching TV. That can have a lot of impact on overall health in particular anxiety if that’s a problem for patients,” said Dr. Cavanaugh.