Social Media Users Have Developed A New Condition Known As 'Smartphone Pinky'
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Are you reading this article on your phone? If so, take a moment to examine where your fingers are placed, because there's a chance you could be suffering from a condition some social media addicts are dubbing 'smartphone pinky'.
Yes, you heard me correctly.
Although not recognized as an official medical condition (yet), a growing number of smartphone users are noticing that they've started to develop a dent or bend in their little fingers, and they're convinced it's caused by the way they hold their phones.
The phenomenon was first noticed on TikTok when user @cllopez2000 posted a video showcasing the condition:
"Ok, so I was just wondering if anyone else has this.
"If you hold your hand with your pinky on the bottom of your phone, you'll start to notice a little dent between the top and the bottom knuckles on your pinky.
"This is called smartphone pinky."
The video soon went viral, quickly racking up over 24k likes on TikTok, and it wasn't long before everyone was staring at their hands and noticing that they'd been hit with the affliction too.
I HAVE THE SMARTPHONE PINKY REALLY BAD pic.twitter.com/r0vXJKlZyr
- Phoebe Rajput (@PhoebeRajput) July 2, 2016
Is it actually the case? Hard to say.
But for better or worse, the term seems to have stuck and if you take even a cursory glance at TikTok or Twitter you'll find a whole host of people complaining about their 'deformed' fingers, claiming their phones are responsible for the damage.
One user tweeted: "Can't believe 'Smartphone Pinky' is actually a thing... and I've got it!! Proper wee indented shiny skin spot. I'm blaming #Covid for this too."
Another tweeted a snap of their crooked finger and lamented that "I have an actual #iphone injury. My finger has bent and will not straighten. Need to change the way I hold my phone."
Meanwhile, others were more playful about it, zooming in on snaps of celebrities such as Justin Bieber and BTS and pointing out that their pinky fingers were just as crooked as the rest of us.
justin really has a smartphone pinky hehe pic.twitter.com/aIEDObl015
- sandra; :back: (@bizzlexmendussy) January 12, 2020
Regardless of the causes, it seems like it's a pretty widespread phenomenon. But is it something to be worried about?
Lloyds Pharmacy pharmacist Pareena Patel told The Sun that there is no clinical evidence about what the condition is, or whether it actually exists, but said that it could be caused by the repetitive strain of constantly holding a device.
She explained: "Smartphone pinky is a social phenomenon thought to be caused by frequent smartphone use. This is where users have reported a dent on their pinky finger from holding their smartphone too much.
"While there is no clinical evidence yet to suggest that smartphones can damage our pinkies specifically, nor is this an official medical condition or term, there are reasons to believe excessive phone use can impact our muscular function and may damage our joints, particularly in the thumb and wrist area.
"For example, we know that repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a common condition which affects the muscles and nerves if they are overused or subject to frequent repetitive movements."
Either way, according to Patel it isn't 'smartphone pinky' that you want to be worried about- The real concern in her view is about getting repetitive strain injury from holding your phone.
She said: "Some research has also found that smartphone overuse can cause pain in the thumb, and can even decrease hand function."
So there you have it folks! Smartphone pinky may or may not be a serious concern to your health, but you should probably put your phone down for a bit either way.