The Text-Neck Epidemic

Parker Brother’s is going to have to add a new, modern ailment to “Operation.”

Last week I went to the doctor’s office to get my annual checkup. It was the same old routine, except as I get older I seem to experience less and less trepidation prior to getting inspected.

Fortunately, there’s no longer the tear-inducing finger prick; now there’s just a fancy finger sensor thingy that can magically tell if my blood sugar levels are up 
to snuff.

Unfortunately, I didn’t walk out of there with a Sesame Street Band-Aid or a blue raspberry lollipop, because the nurse muttered some nonsense about “adulthood.”

As a young person living in this world, I know that there are worse times ahead of me. Worse times as in I’ll probably need to get surgery on a rusty part (knock on wood — or this paper, which was previously wood).

When I’m old and tactlessly gray, I’ll carry around a pocketbook and talk about going to university when I was a youthful sprite. “Oh, those were the days!” I’ll proclaim to my grandchildren — or more likely to my 27 cats.

Luckily for me, those times are long down the road. Unluckily, we have yet another problem when we become elderly owed to none other than our pesky little mobile devices.

Yes the cellphone, a timeless classic that’s ever-present in our lives. According to an article written by the Washington Post, ‘text neck’ is a real thing we should be 
aware of.

As we peer down at our phones and shamelessly avoid human interaction we’re actually harming our necks. Every inch your neck bends doubles your spinal pressure.

Here are some quality stats and comparisons to exemplify the gravity of the situation. Zero degrees, head on, your head weighs 12 pounds. This is the weight of the average housecat or — since I’m feeling patriotic — 
a bald eagle.

A 16-degree tilt to look at your phone weighs 27 pounds on the cervical spine. This is the weight of a typical two year old, or more excitingly, the amount of cheese the average American consumes in one year.

A 30-degree tilt of the head weighs 40 pounds. This is equivalent to a 15-foot canoe or an average human leg. A leg — and I’m not 
pulling yours.

A 45-degree tilt weighs 49 pounds. That’s ten Chihuahua dogs right there. Just imagine the barking.

A 60-degree tilt weighs an astounding 60 pounds. The equivalent to this is the weight of an elephant’s penis.

Honestly, I know not many are going to take this advice to heart. We’re a reckless and young generation still listening to Drake on full volume because we know ourselves (yes, that was a pun).

So the next time you’re bending down to read a text message from your significant other, take a step back and think about your spine lugging around an elephant’s penis just for you to read some stupid text full of emojis.

This article was originally published as a column for the Indiana Daily Student on 11 June 2015. 

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