Here is How Your Smartphone Is Truly Aging You (It's Not "Tech Neck")


Another day, another mention of how staring at your smartphone is slowly withering you into an unrecognizable pile of sallow, sagging flesh. But I can assure you that “tech neck” is not the only smartphone-induced culprit of rapid aging. It’s not just the phone that’s going to send you to an early grave, but what’s in it.

In a piece over at Harper’s Bazaar, we learn that literally everyone around you staring at their phone right now at a 45-degree angle could be a “victim of a syndrome labeled tech neck.” Tech Neck is defined as the “Instagram-gazing, smartphone-induced saggy neckline that could affect us all,” which sounds particularly ominous, as if it won’t just be hard for its sufferers, but for all of mankind.

“Laxity of the neck skin—or tech neck—is actually a true phenomenon that can occur from persistent folding of the skin from repetitive motion—like looking down at your phone or laptop computer,” a real dermatologist tells author Tara Lamont-Djite.

Well I got your persistent folding that could affect us all, right here—it’s called the persistent folding of the horrible reality of life into your brain via the Internet. Besides, you can do something about tech neck (prevention, surgery, creams) but you can never unsee the horror that is the heart of darkness of the Internet. These are the real culprits of smartphone-induced rapid aging, and you grapple with them every day as they slowly wear you down into aged infirmity:

Group Texts/Chats

There’s a lot of messages in there. And there’s that thing that happens when you wake up and realize you have 157 unread messages in a group chat about whether or not anyone you know has ever puked in a bidet, and yet, you need to read them AS FAST AS POSSIBLE to make sure you are caught up/didn’t miss anything.

Scrolling Through Your Friend’s 30-pic Instagram Snow Photo Dump

Yes, it was snowing. We got it. Only now we are very very tired.

Another Study About a Thing You Are Doing Wrong

White noise is bad, your face is bad, you are bad. Feeling bad adds a decade to your posture.

Another Slideshow With One Photo Per Page

Cool, this will only take a couple days to get through 15 pics of celebs who used to be ugly. (Hint: They weren’t ugly.)

Page Won’t Load

But there’s usually wifi everywhere! +5 years

The Ad You Have to Watch before the Video on Youtube of the Band That Isn’t Even Popular Or Anything

Shouldn’t there be an ad-free reward system for liking obscure shit? No? Not anymore? Ugh.

Your Email

21,721 unread emails, 87% Sephora and Madewell ads.

All the Twitter You Can’t Read

Stacks of old, never-read New Yorkers have been replaced by your Twitter feed going back to infinity.

When Your Friend Posts Something Inadvertently Sexist

Lol guess who screamed like a girl when they saw a spider today? Lol.

Bad Satire

Everyone thought the Smithsonian really did destroy those giant skeletons. That was hard to know about.

Keeping Up With Whatever Thing Is Outrageous

Patricia Arquette’s backstage Oscar comments? Dark Ages, my friend. Now it’s two Bachelorettes.

When Friends Need to Take a Social Media Break

Anyone who needs them can CALL like people USED TO DO, OK? (P.S.: You’re old.)

Someone Who Just Now Heard About ‘On Fleek’ and Won’t Stop Using It

It’s OK, we all find things at our own pace, but do a smidge of recon first, k? That’s what the Internet is for.

Everyone Trying to Be Cool All the Time

Particularly challenging because you’re a sensitive person and you feel things and you are cringing for them. Cringing. We can’t all be cool, and that is OK. Lean Into Lameness, is what it should be.

Online Polls

Guess what, if your ex boyfriend were a writer he would be Chekhov. If your coworker were a dog she would be a Chihuahua. If your best friend were a type of candy she would be Pez. And if you were old you would now be so much older.

The Way Soundcloud Just Automatically Plays Another Song By a Band You Didn’t Even Want to Hear

It’s only a welcome surprise .08% of the time; the rest of the time it legit makes you startle.

Watching People You Thought Were Smart Try to Debate Issues du Jour

“Kanye’s not a real musician!” “Beck wuz robbed!” “Prison rape jokes are still funny!” “The dress!” Gaharglaglaglglelagle.

Living With the Constant Fear That You Will Lose All Data/Photos If You Drop Your Phone in the Toilet

Because you refuse to spring for more iCloud storage.

Reading About Whatever Anyone Who is 22 Is Up To

Oh she’s in a new impromptu sketch comedy group that’s doing really well? Her Tumblr about lemurs with four posts in two years got a book deal? She looks good in a stonewashed razorcut bedazzled denim onesie? Greaaaat.

That Guy Who Always Complains Without Fail About How Pop Music Is Ruining Everything

He can’t believe anyone who is over 30 could like the new Carly Rae Jepsen song. He thinks Charli XCX can only be popular because she has good thighs. And he is wearing everyone out. (You still chime in on every thread.)

Feeling Obligated to Respond to Your Mom’s Email

She only sent you an “interesting” article though what is wrong with you?

Instant Access to Photo/Video of Worldwide Atrocities

AKA, tortured children, soldiers on fire, rape video. Just what you needed.

Targeted Ads

One time you talked in a private chat on Facebook about a yeast infection as a JOKE and now Monistat 7 won’t leave you alone for six months.

The Number of Times This Author Wrote “Fluid Bond.”

Srsly don’t read it.

Confronting the True Reality of the Human Condition

See above. Everyone is terrible. Did you know that?

All the Stupid Links to All the Stupid Things

They go to more stupid links. To more stupid things. Which you know you will click on.

Image via Getty.

Contact the author at [email protected].

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