It’s hard to imagine a time without technology playing such a big role in our lives. Gadgets, in particular, have made us so used to the conveniences they offer that we use them so naturally now to the point that we’re sometimes careless with them. While every piece of technology has its shelf life, there are certain habits that we do that can shorten their life span. Often, these small slips are so natural that we don’t even realize their effect on our tech. Before we know it, we have a broken phone, laptop, or tablet to deal with it.
From charging our phones overnight to using our laptops in bed, here are the top seven seemingly harmless habits that might be slowly killing our gadgets.
1. Over-charging your batteries.
Technically, every gadget will have the performance of its batteries slow down once it has reached a number of cycles, but overcharging and over-draining them can actually make their performance life shorter. For example, while there is nothing much to worry about over-charging your batteries by leaving it plugged overnight (modern gadgets nowadays automatically terminate the charge once the gadget reaches its appropriate voltage), things can become problematic when the battery has to repeatedly power up to compensate for a slight dip of its charge throughout the night.
This is especially true when you keep your phone hooked into the internet the whole night—because it is constantly refreshing, the phone uses up power, no matter how little, overnight. As a response to this, the charger will kick on the moment it senses a slight dip on gadget power. This, charging and recharging is what decreases the battery life over time.
2. Over-draining your juice.
Similar to leaving your phone plugged in overnight, running your battery down to zero can also cause it to disintegrate faster. There’s a science behind this, too: every time you completely discharge your battery, you increase its cathode’s mechanical degradation, which, in turn lessens its capacity to store energy. Moreover, running your battery low also increases what is called “depth of discharge” or the difference between the battery’s starting and ending percentage. This figure affects the number of discharge cycles of your battery which has a finite number that it can accommodate. The moment your battery has reached this number, you will not be able to charge it anymore.
So what should be done instead? Since a full discharge cycle is counted when you run your battery down to zero, it is best to do small, quick charges instead. For example, hooking your gadget at 30 or 40 percent can help you increase your charging cycles more.
3. Picking your laptop by the screen.
One of the most common complaints of gadget owners, whenever they bring their tech to shops, are problems with the display. If you notice any discoloration or “bleeding” on your LCD but can’t think of any instance when you’ve hit it, then the problem might be with how you regularly handle the gadget. Picking up your laptop by its screen, for example, is a surefire way to abuse its LCD because of the unnecessary pressure you place on it. Be mindful of how you handle your gadgets to keep problems like this from happening.
4. Using your laptop in bed.
All of us have done it at one point: we’re so excited to binge-watch something that we’ve carelessly brought out laptops in bed, not even bothering to get a laptop table to rest it on while we’re using it. While this habit may seem too harmless, this is actually one of the primary causes of a gadget overheating. When we rest our laptops on our laps—or put it on our beds—we risk of blocking its air vents. This causes our laptops to keep air from properly flowing, which in turn, can lead to it overheating.
The next time you’re planning to spend hours curled up in bed with your gadget, at least let it rest on a proper laptop table where its air slots won’t be blocked.
5. Using your gadget in unlikely places.
This should be a no-brainer, but yes, even the best of us are prone to doing this. Having breakfast in front of your laptop? Using your phone in the bathroom? Using your gadgets in situations where they are exposed to possibilities of falling or getting wet is never a good idea—yes, even if you’ve bought a super expensive hard case for it, which we recommend, by the way.
6. Leaving your gadgets in your car.
Just how many times have you left any of your gadgets overnight in your car? While this may seem like a harmless thing at first—nothing can touch it there, right?—the temperature change that may happen inside your vehicle can cause it damage. Humidity, condensation, and heat, for example, can affect your batteries and LCD, especially if you leave them exposed to temperature fluctuations for long periods. Made the mistake of leaving your tablet or laptop? The next best thing to do is to make sure that you let it cool down (or go back to its normal temperature) before using it.
7. Using the wrong gadget cleaners.
Yes, you can’t entirely trust those cleaners that scream “universal.” These substances might contain damaging chemicals like ammonia which, when applied regularly on your gadgets, can cause some opacities and yellowing. If you want to stay on the safe side, use only the prescribed cleaning products of your gadget provider.
Just how many of these habits do you regularly do? If you can check off more than one from this list, then it’s probably time you make some major lifestyle tweaks on how you use your gadgets. In the unfortunate time that you’re faced with a damaged tech, the next best thing to do is to bring it to a reputable repair provider that can help you straighten up the mess. A good one like BREAKFixNow can always restore your gadgets in top shape AND give you the best advice so you don’t make the same mistakes again. They even provide home services to make the whole process even more convenient. Check out their website for their services.