Future humans may have abnormalities from using technology too much

Excessive technology use could cause future humans to form a second eyelid and alterations in the hands and back.
Brittney Grimes
The effects of technology on a future human.
The effects of technology on a future human.

3D image of "Mindy"/TollFreeForwarding 

Advancements in technology change how people work and function, often speeding up the process or creating efficiency. However, there is a possibility that technology is affecting our bodies, especially from using it often.

A project commissioned by TollFreeForwarding warns that using technology too much could form abnormalities. The company collaborated with a 3D designer to make images of a “future human” that shows tech-related problems from daily technological use. The 3D model was named “Mindy”.

To show the impact of technology on the human body, especially over a long period of time, the team studied scientific research and expert opinions on the topic, specifically the negative effects technology can have on the human body. The design in the image was based on constant use of smartphones, laptops and other forms of technology.

Effects on the back

The company predict Mindy will have a hunched back in the future. This would be from overuse of modern tech objects, affecting the way people sit and stand. They believe that constantly looking down at a smartphone and looking up at a computer screen could strain parts of the body, leading to the arched back and misalignment in the spine.

“Spending hours looking down at your phone strains your neck and throws your spine off balance. Consequently, the muscles in your neck have to expend extra effort to support your head,” said Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert at Maple Holistics. He also mentioned that sitting in front of a computer for hours can pull the torso out in front of the hips, rather than the torso being vertically straight and aligned with the hips.

The arms and hands are altered

Another visible feature of the 3D image is what the is called “text claw”, also called cubital tunnel syndrome — a nerve condition in the elbow that produces numbness in the fingers — caused by using the smart phone constantly. This new term was devised to explain how the hand takes a permanent form of a claw-shape due to continuously holding a smartphone.

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Future humans may have abnormalities from using technology too much
Text claw.

“A few years ago, mobile internet usage surpassed desktop, and we now hold the internet in our hands. However, the way we hold our phones can cause strain in certain points of contact – causing “text claw,” which is known as cubital tunnel syndrome,” stated Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, a physician and co-founder of Med Alert Help.

Future humans may also have a 90-degree elbow from using technology excessively. This idea is an extension of the explanation for text claw, both features of cubital tunnel syndrome, also from using the smartphone too much. The physical change is formed from “pressure or the stretching of the ulnar nerve which runs in a groove on the inner side of the elbow,” Djordjevic said.

The neck will be impacted by technology use

The posture of the 3D image, Mindy, also shows the effect of technology on the neck. “When you’re working on a computer or looking down at your phone, the muscles in the back of the neck have to contract to hold your head up. The more you look down, the harder the muscles have to work to keep your head up,” explained Dr. K. Daniel Riew, physician at the New York-Presbyterian Orch Spine Hospital.

Additional features that could be affected

The study predicts that future humans would have a thicker skull to protect the brain from radiation from smartphones, and that humans would develop a second eyelid to protect the eyes from strain and too much blue light from screen exposure.

Future humans may have abnormalities from using technology too much
Second eyelid.

“Humans may develop a larger inner eyelid to prevent exposure to excessive light, or the lens of the eye may be evolutionary developed such that it blocks incoming blue light but not other high wavelength lights like green, yellow or red,” said Kasun Ratnayake, a researcher at the University of Toledo.

Technology is a huge asset, but it is interesting to know what impact it could possibly be having on the human body over time. The report shows apparent features (effects of technology on the hands, eyes and back) that are dramatically overemphasized to portray what could potentially happen, albeit with exaggeration, if technology is used excessively and the risks associated with it.

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