Your smartphone is a delicate piece of technology, even though you don’t always treat it that way. But aside from being breakable, smartphones are also constantly emitting radiation and heat, so keeping your smartphone super close to you can even be a safety hazard. Here are five reasons you should never keep your smartphone in your pocket.
1. You Could Be Giving Yourself Back Problems
Orly Avitzur, M.D., a practicing neurologist and Medical Adviser for Consumer Reports, told Consumerist that she has had a number of patients in the past few years complain of pain that starts in their buttocks and shoots down their legs. She said she believes that the cause is from patients keeping cell phones in their back pockets.
“[T]he potential harm to your back is clear,” Dr. Avitzur told Consumerist. “Pressing any hard object against the derrière, home of the sciatic nerve, is a bad idea.”
Even tool belts or wallets can cause problems, she said.
2. You Could Accidentally Dial 911
The ability to call 911 without having to unlock one’s phone is a great safety feature that still protects the user’s privacy, but it has led to an increase in 911 butt dials, according to CNN.
It’s become so bad that 911 lines are now being choked with butt dials, according to All You. In San Francisco, specifically, nearly 30 percent of 911 calls are actually butt dials.
3. You Are More Likely To Break Your Phone
Unless you wear jeans with flaps that button over the top of your back pocket, then your phone actually isn’t very secure. By carrying your phone in your back pocket, you’re more likely to break it from sitting on it, dropping it in the toilet or dropping it on the ground and cracking the screen, according to All You.
4. There Could Be Health Affects To Keeping It That Close To You
Around the time that iPhone 5 users realized that they were bending or breaking their phones by putting them in their back pockets and sitting on them, news outlets reported that the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 manuals actually say that you should keep your phone at least 10 millimeters away from your body at all times, according to Newsweek.
A 2014 study also found that cellphones kept in men’s pockets could be negatively affecting their sperm count, according to CNN.
5. You Could Set Yourself On Fire
I wish I was kidding, but I’m not. A North Carolina teen suffered first- and second-degree burns in May after his iPhone caught fire in his pants pocket when he was on his way into school, according to WRAL.
In 2014, the same thing happened to a teen girl that put her phone in her back pocket. Your phone needs air because the crazy technological stuff happening inside of it generates heat. If that heat builds up too much, the phone could malfunction and catch fire.
Always be conscious of where your phone is, and be safe!