THE SMART PHONE SYNDROME
THE SMART PHONE SYNDROME
The Smart Phone Syndrome replaces the by me named Dubai Syndrome and is equal to an initiating Burn-Out-Syndrome.
What are the typical symptoms?
If you feel tired over a long period, feel weary, restless and nerveless and maybe you sleep badly as well in a word you suffer of exhaustion with reduced capability, then think of the Smart-Phone-Syndrome.
An eternity of 7 years ago the first smart phone (iPhone) was launched.
At home or at work we used to boot up our computers to work off our private or professional emails.
Nowadays we are always reachable via our smart phones and we can check and receive our emails, doesn’t matter if they are important or not. Some company has a special sale with 50% discount or our so called 64th friend on facebook needs to tell us about his/her awesome encounter at Mc Donald’s… which isn’t interesting at all for us.
What are the reasons?
We simply accept the fact that we reply our emails not within a day but answer or react always and at all times immediately.
To be always online means that a totally new communication structure is created and causes tensions.
We communicate with other people via smart phone without talking to them in person.
Before I nowadays call a friend, acquaintance, business partner or colleague, I text or email my question or answer.
This means, we humans experience a high significant reduction of real social contacts, which lets us dramatically grow lonely, also when we are online everywhere. (IPhone = isolation phone)
For sure I am not a bad doctor but I am an even better observer.
On a daily basis I see terrible things which contradict our human structure.
I see people at airports, in malls, in restaurants or in the waiting room of my clinic which are nearly permanently focused and concentrated on their smart phones to continue working or to simply be online not to miss anything.
I see spouses and families, which for example at a Friday brunch have nothing to say to each other anymore and which are only busy with their smart phones.
I met families on house calls which only communicate online within the house, no joke!
That can’t be, because we humans are not made for this kind of online togetherness.
The really bad thing about this change is, that the smart phone lets us subconsciously become stultified (stupid) because we can check everything online and don’t need to look in a book to get the knowledge which would most probably stuck longer.
Who doesn’t want to believe it, can check this link from the University Ulm, Germany from Professor Spitzer (in German language):
Why does a smart phone cause an illness?
Complicated processes always follow simple basic structures, which become complicated through their variations.
When I permanently get interrupted throughout a just started work process and I am flooded with new information, it is only a matter of time when my concentration will reach the limit.
We human beings don’t burn petrol and produce pollutants like cars, but we burn oxygen and release free radicals. If the level of free radicals in our body is too high, they can cause serious problems and diseases.
- we work highly motivated, partly without any break
- often we work 6 or 7 days a week
- bear as mentioned above the “constant 24/7 fire” of our smart phones including all emails (professional and private)
- voluntarily abandon vacations and breaks
- bear the traffic with reckless drivers and traffic congestions
- very often have to control employees, partly permanent, which costs a lot of strength and time
- live in a unfamiliar, different climate
- are exposed to significant more pollutants and dust in compare to our home countries
- do much too less sports
This means that this stress and the permanent online work load consequently cause a high level of oxygen burning processes in our bodies which consequently also ends in high levels of free radicals and those make us sick!
Additionally we are more thoughtless when it comes to the choices we make regarding our nutrition.
Did you know that a German citizen eats an average of 18.8kg of the so called food chemicals? Most probably its even more here in the U.A.E. !
The food industry mainly uses chemical substances such as flavor enhancer, dye stuffs, emulsifiers, preservatives and much else but what’s common is a chemical formula.
How shall our body cope with all the many new chemical substances in our food when our human body doesn’t know the chemical substances and this since thousand of years?
Unmistakable there is to indicate that all the completed products contain much too much fat, sugar or salt and that’s why are not adapted to our human body.
It is also a fact that we doctors prescribe much too much medications or our patients just go to the pharmacy and self medicate themselves out of lack of time or/and pressure at work.
Drugs in general are chemical substances with an effect and possibly many side effects.
The exorbitant increase of antibiotic resistances with the possibility of a life-threatening multi resistant staphylococcus infection is attributable to my explanations above.
How can we protect ourselves?
The most important rule of the medicine is: diseases can only develop if the body, mind and soul are not in balance – we call it Dysbalance!
Very often we know about these negative things, which give us a rough time, but ignore to analyze and get ride of them or to accept them when we can’t change them.
Consequently one can say, the daily open talks, the not online time, time with your family and friends are the main pillars for this so important balance.
Anxieties, worries and problems have to be honestly expressed and one need to look for solutions.
To make it better in the future, failures have to be analyzed without accusations.
Important is the experience not the (financial) result, which will come sooner or later with sustainable work.
Very important are sportive activities (3 to 5 times a week for about 20-30 minutes) to get in balance.
Here in the emirates we need to drink clearly more (at least 3 litre water daily or with water diluted fruit juices) and we need to nutrition healthy, with enough minerals and vitamins.
For sure the stress doesn’t get less.
And for sure we humans can work more than as the in Germany according to tariff 40 hours a week, if we enjoy the work, have a goal or a vision, no question about that.
But we need to internalize, we need a concept (exertion and relaxation) and clear rules of conduct in every day life communication.
It can’t be that we humans are dictated in one direction from outside influences such as media, internet and advertisement without deeply thinking about the consequences for ourselves.
Please switch your smart phone into silent mode after work. Maybe switch it on again in the evening for half an hour maximum to take care of the really important things which can’t wait till the next morning.
Dr. Christian Heidenreich | Consultant Internal Medicine
German Medical Centre