Smartphones, tablets, laptops, all are forms of technology that practically never leave our side. I basically just have an Apple laptop and an iPhone like everybody else. I think in our society today, wherever you go, you notice people from a young age to an old age, they’re always on their phones or any electronic devices that they have. But as they become more ingrained in our everyday lives, they’re also becoming a real pain in the neck. Literally. The connectivity, that’s great for this generation. But it has given us some interesting conditions that we never saw before. The neck being one of them, also some problems with the fingers from repetitive motion that comes with texting. Its development is similar to carpal tunnel, which is a painful condition in the wrist caused by a pinched nerve. The extra pressure puts a strain of sixty pounds on the neck and spine, and can pull it out of alignment. It can also hurt your back. Normally, it should come down more like this. You can see where the vertebra are here. And that comes from the head dropping forward and the shoulders dropping forward, and creating kind of this hunched back. Kids are not the only ones experiencing this problem. As a high school teacher, Mr. Kevin Allen relies heavily on technology. I use it daily, you know, to check email, answer phone calls from whoever. The neck is flexed forward at like a forty-five-degree angle, which is very common when you’re texting. It actually increases the amount of strain on the neck to about thirty to forty pounds. I find that when I look down at my phone or my computer, my neck does get very sore from time to time. If I’m using particularly a cell phone or an iPad, and I’m looking down for, I think, longer than maybe fifteen, twenty minutes, my neck will start to sort of cramp up. But texting isn’t the only culprit. Experts say gaming and social media are also to blame. On an average, studies show that people spend over four hours a day on their devices. Although “text neck” is becoming a growing epidemic, there are still ways to prevent it. Usually looking at some physical therapy, which might be aimed at trying to relax the muscles, sometimes using massage, stretching, ice, heat, and sometimes medications are needed to take down the inflammation in that muscle area. I don’t think that I could take any precautions. Like, I don’t see myself lessening my time using my phone or my laptop. But knowing more about “text neck” and the effects it’ll have on me twenty, thirty years from now, I’ll be more aware of that. Experts say knowledge is the first step, and being aware of the dangers of “text neck” could stop it from being a major health issue in the future. This is Frances Nicole Tabios from Sacred Hearts Academy, for HIKI NŌ.