5 Reasons To Shut Down Your Smartphone

5 Reasons To Shut Down Your Smartphone

Smartphones are wonderful things as they help us do so much and help us connect with so many people. Yet that is one of the problems with them; because they are so helpful, they can become a distraction or, worse, an addiction. It’s a good idea to shut them off completely once in a while, to go outside without them, and to limit their use. Here are the reasons why.

They Are Bad For Your Eyes

When our eyes are working well, we often take them for granted. However, too much cellphone use can cause damage to them and reduce our ability to focus on things in the distance. We are becoming so used to looking at screens close up that our eyes are adapting. It’s clever, but it’s not healthy. It’s not just the distance either. The HEV light that is emitted by smartphones can damage retinal tissue.

They Are Dirty

Think of all the places our cell phones go during the day. Think of how many times we – and sometimes other people – touch them. They are covered in bacteria. Then we put them close to our mouths and ears. A study showed that about 13 percent of cell phones have fecal matter on them, and 16 percent carry e. Coli bacteria. It’s important to wash your hands regularly, but even so, our phones will still become dirty.

They Cause Neck And Back Pain

Cellphones cause so much damage to our necks and backs that there is a new medical term for the pain – ‘text neck.’ Heads are heavy things, and when we move about with them lowered (to look at a phone screen, for example), we put a huge amount of pressure on our cervical spine. It can be as much as 60 pounds. If you are experiencing this kind of pain, you’ll need a chiropractor, and you can find one on echiropractor.org. Remember, though, once you have had your back and neck pain made better, reduce the amount of time you spend texting and browsing on your cell phone, or it will start up again.

They Cause Sore Hands

Along with ‘text neck’ there is another new term; ‘text claw.’ This is used to describe the cramping pain that holding a cell phone for long periods of time can cause. The thumb is the most vulnerable digit because it is what is used most when we are texting. You might experience tendon issues and inflammation. One way to stop this from happening is to use a stylus instead, but the best way to stop the pain and repair the damage done is to shut off the phone and stop using it for a while.

They Stop You From Sleeping

That temptation to take one last look at your phone before you settle down to sleep is often overwhelming. However, having a screen emitting blue light close to your face can cause problems with your circadian rhythm (your natural sleep cycle), and that means you won’t get the right type or amount of sleep as you should. Lack of sleep will make you grouchy and short-tempered, plus it’s bad for your health; those who sleep less are more vulnerable to heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes amongst other things.

The iPhone 6s: Is It Worth Upgrading Before The 8 Hits Shelves?

The iPhone 6s: Is It Worth Upgrading Before The 8 Hits Shelves?

First released in the fall of 2015, the iPhone 6s is in a unique position. As just one generation behind the current model, it’s running the same iOS 10 as the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Technically, it should be able to run all of your favorite apps, but as it nears its 2nd year, the 6s may struggle to keep up with your streaming. Rough handling can leave the iPhone incapable of performing like it once did straight out of the box. That leaves you with the big question: is it time to upgrade?

Normally, this is a relatively simple question to answer. You should upgrade to the latest handset as soon as you see your current phone’s performance start to decline. But we’re discovering 2017 isn’t a normal year. The White House and POTUS’ bizarre tweeting habits aside, 2017 puts iPhone users in an odd spot.

Though the iPhone 7 was released roughly a year ago, we can expect its successor in less than one year. The Cupertino-based company is set to release the iPhone 8 sometime before 2017 is over, and it’s promising to be a spectacular addition to the Apple line. So it should be, considering it’s meant to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the very first iPhone.

Back in 2007, Apple revolutionized smartphones by popularizing the touchscreen and introducing the concept of apps to the world. It’s hard to remember a time when our phones weren’t equipped with these applications. No Netflix icon promising a distraction from our long commute with the newest Orange is the New Black season. No GrubHub button offering convenient lunch options when the fridge is empty. And no fitness app boasting your latest step count.

Ten years on, we hope that Apple’s able to recreate that sense of wonder with the release of the 8. This excitement for what’s to come is what complicates matters for those with the 6s. With only a few months until the 8 is set for release, the question becomes whether or not to skip the 7 entirely in the upgrade to the 8.

What it comes down to is a handful of variables:

  • how well you’ve maintained your 6s
  • how well you can cope with frustrating phones mishaps
  • how long we can expect to wait until the 8 actually hits shelves.

For a while there, it was assumed Apple would unleash its newest generation sometime in September to commemorate its 10th anniversary of the iPhone. Anyone who’s been following the rumors surrounding the 8’s upcoming design will know nothing about its release is cut and dry. Almost every other leak contradicts the other, and this aura of mystery is affecting its possible launch date. Now there are reports the fall may only see a limited quantity of the handset released, with the hard launch set for some time in the 4th quarter.

The difference of a few months may be the turning point for you. Even if you evaded the 6s’ notorious touch disease, struggling with a range of issues typical to smartphones of a certain age may push you over the edge. Lag times, bugs, and memory glitches can render your 6s useless. If so, it may be worth your time, money, and patience to upgrade to the 7.

If, on the other hand, you have the patience of a saint — or if you used your 6s with the utmost care, cautiously swapping out old iPhone decals with new iPhone 6s skins as the need arises — it’ll be a cinch to wait for the release of the 8. Even if this is the first time you’ve heard of iPhone 6s skins, they could still hold the answer to your dilemma.

Skins are an easy way to prolong the life of any handset, iPhone or otherwise, as it provides a layer of protective vinyl around its delicate aluminum and plastic chassis. It also adds considerable grip to this notoriously slick device, so it’s more likely to stay in your hands and away from the cold, hard ground. It doesn’t hurt that you can customize its look, opting for different colors and textures according to your mood.

As long as you aren’t dealing with annoying glitches every day, it won’t matter when Apple sets its official release date. Whether its September debut is accurate or a launch closer to the holidays is more likely, your cautious use of the phone will hold out. There’s no need to upgrade to the 7 or 7 Plus — not when early reports suggest the 10th anniversary handset will out-perform the relatively safe (and therefore boring) 7th generation.

So which one will it be? Upgrade now or wait for the 8 to debut. Only you know the answer.

Best Smartphone Apps For Learning a New Language

Best Smartphone Apps For Learning a New Language

Language learning has never been easier than it is right now thanks to a wide variety of smartphone applications which can help you master a new language. The beauty of using smartphones to aid you in your pursuit of language learning is that you can use them when you are at home, on the bus, on a break at work or even as you are traveling and if you want to learn, perfect or practice a new language, then doing so on your smartphone is the way to go.

There are many apps out there which promise to help you learn a new language and we have rounded up some of the best of them for you to try.


HelloTalk is a language learning app with a difference in that instead of giving you lessons or tips on how to better speak, it directly connects you with millions of people throughout the world and allows you to teach each other how to speak the language better. The app is not just about learning a new language but meeting new people and there is a whole host of features which allow yo to correct each other, help one another to improve speaking skills and you can earn points and credits along the way.


For those looking to learn how to speak Spanish, this is without question the best application on the market. The app features an extensive dictionary, daily word challenges, grammar testa and lessons as well as a translator for long sentences. This is a must have accessory if you are wishing to learn Spanish or travel to a Spanish-speaking country.


DuoLingo is a novel language-learning application which takes you from beginner to professional in just a short time. Each time you complete a test or a challenge you will earn currency to be used in the app in order to unlock the next level. DuoLingo aims to teach you languages in a fun, game-style way which can help you to better learn and encourage you to use the application more often.


As far as vocabulary builders go, they do not get much better than Memrise and if you already understand the core basics of a particular language, you could ramp up your knowledge in no time with this handy app. The application teaches words in a mixed translation way so that you can better remember the words, it will give you challenges and allow you to understand all definitions of various words. The application also offers  wide range of languages to learn from Chinese to Arabic, French to Russian.

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone have a great reputation for their online lessons and their application is just as good. Considered as a travel companion rather than a teaching apps, this smartphone application offers extensive dictionaries and translation tools in a wide variety of languages, perfect if you are traveling somewhere where you cannot speak the language.

There is no longer a need to carry around phrase books and dictionaries with you, these language apps are all that you need to help you out on the road and to better learn a language.