‘Selfie Elbow, Everyone Has It’

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There’s tech pain flaring up everywhere. And I’m not talking about the agnsty pain of not having the latest tech. I’m talking about the actual physical pain you get from having it and using it.

Surely you’ve heard of people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome from too much computer keyboard use. And you may have noted mentions of “text neck” and “text claw,” caused respectively by constantly extending your neck and tilting your head down to see your phone, and cramping up your fingers and wrist to do all that small-screen tap-tap-tapping.

Well, there’s now a new pain in the tech called “selfie elbow.” Yep, it’s a condition caused by constantly extending your phone arm up and out while keeping a tight finger grip on your device of choice. You end up with a stiff arm and inflammatory pain in your elbow or hand. In fact, selfie elbow is a lot like tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow … only without any silly exercise being a part of the mix.

This newest tech-focused malady was apparently brought to the world’s attention when Today show co-anchor Hoda Kotb spilled the beans that her doctor diagnosed her arm pain as coming from her snapping too many smiling pictures.

“I went to the orthopedist and he said, ‘Are you playing tennis or ping-pong?’ And of course I’m not, so I told him I was taking selfies.” Kotb told Elle. “When you take the picture, your arm is up, bent in a weird way and you just click, click, click—think about how many you take: 20, 30, or 40. Selfie elbow, everyone has it!”

Of course, the first thing that comes to my old school, used-to-using-an-antiquated-contraption-called-a-camera mind is: Is she really saying that she’s mugging for smartphone selfies at the pace of “20, 30, or 40” shots at a time? No wonder her muscles and joints are revolting.

On the other hand, that kind of personal pic passion probably isn’t as abnormal as I might think. After all, I’ve read many a story about people working hard to capture the perfect snap of themselves. And according to research, more than 17 million selfies are uploaded every week on social media.

Which, of course, leads to yet another consequence to our modern-day collective narcissism. Hey, mom always said that we shouldn’t be self-focused. Little did she know that it would end … in inflammation.

Who wrote this?

Bob Hoose is a senior associate editor for Plugged In, a producer/writer for Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey, a writer of plays and musicals and one-half of the former comedy/drama duo Custer & Hoose. He is a husband, father of three and a relatively new granddad.

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