If you’ve been swiping on Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, this-thing, that-one — you’ve probably developed a handful of conditions. You know, like dating PTSD: where you’re convinced everyone will ghost or catfish you. Maybe you now believe you could be a detective by how skilled you are at researching a potential match online, with only a phone number and a first name. According to a new study though, there’s something that could be growing in your head — and they don’t mean paranoia.
They mean, um, horns.
That’s right, our obsessive social media and phone addiction that has us bowing our heads to glance at a screen could be turning us all into unicorns. Researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia suggested that young folks (that’s us!) are developing odd, tiny, ‘hornlike’ spikes at the back of their skulls. There are a few reasons why this could happen, but the most obvious is the way many tilt their heads throughout the day to answer an email, like a Facebook photo or swipe right on a cutie.
How does it work, they think? When you look down, your posture shifts and you put more weight on your neck, and thus, the back of your noggin’. In their studies, they found 41 percent of their participants, aged 18 to 30, had an enlarged area. In their second paper, analyzing 1,200 x-rays from those 18 to 86 years old, 33 percent also had this growth.
While it sounds fascinating — and yep, a little terrifying — not everyone is Team Horns. In fact, John Hawks from the University of Wisconsin-Madison doesn’t give much credit to the science, since the text and the images* don’t really add up. In fact, he says the chart provided by the scientists doesn’t align with their writing, which raises a big red horn — er, flag. “We have no data linking phone use with EEOP. We have, however, suggested that EEOP is linked with excessive FHP [forward head posture] and sustained cervical flexion. The confusion with our analysis seems to stem from misinterpretation of one of our graphs, which shows the percentage of EEOP within each sex. These are not overall or absolute data,” he told CNN.
So, while you probably aren’t going to sprout up a multi-color, magical horn, this news article alone is enough to slide into a pretty gal’s DM’s. “Hey girl, let’s take this offline so we don’t grow any horns, okay?”