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The Harmful Effects of Too Much Screen Time

It’s probably an understatement to suggest that smartphones have changed the world. Look around right now, and you’ll be likely to see at least a few people staring at their screens, whether they’re making online purchases, watching a video or absently scrolling through social media.

Smartphones put the whole world right into our hands. In 2018, research indicated that Americans spent over 11 hours per day interacting with media. Almost four hours of that time were taken up by phone usage alone. Yet, many people fail to think about the harmful effects of too much screen time on their health.  

The Effects of Phone Screens on Your Health

Smartphones have become so second-nature that many people check them and waste time on them without even thinking about it. So how does all that screen time affect you? Some of the adverse issues that can arise include:

  • Eyesight issues: Staring at a screen, especially a small smartphone screen, causes eye strain. You’re also less likely to blink as often while looking at your phone, which can contribute to this discomfort. While the resulting headache may seem like a minor inconvenience, sustained screen use can also cause blurred vision and continued irritation if not properly managed. One recommendation is to use the 20/20/20 rule, which involves taking a screen break every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. 
  • Sleep disruptions: Do you like to play on your phone or watch videos online before bed? If so, it could be disrupting your sleep. Blue light from smartphones can make you feel more awake at night, which makes it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Getting a proper night’s rest is integral to overall health and performance in our daily lives, so try minimizing your screen time before bed if you’re having trouble sleeping. Most modern smartphones also offer a blue light filter to help keep blue light from interfering with your sleep.
  • Decreased attention: Staring at your phone while alone in your room is one thing. It’s another issue entirely when you’re out in public, walking down the street or even driving. While many people know the risks associated with texting and walking or texting and driving, it still happens every day. The distraction of looking at your smartphone while moving puts you and the people around you in danger. If you absolutely have to check your phone or send a message, find a safe place to stop first. 
  • Mental health in youth: By now, you might be tired of hearing about the effects of phone screens on children and teens. Nevertheless, it’s important to consider how screen time impacts brain development in this sensitive age group. Some research has suggested a link between children and adolescents spending more time on their phones and long-term issues with social development and depression. To combat this, many parents choose to set limits on daily screen time for their children. There are even apps and programs available to help make this easier!

Contact Us for More Information

While smartphones offer plenty of convenience and flexibility in our daily lives, it’s important that we also take measures to protect ourselves from the effects of too much screen time. To learn more about smartphone benefits and risks, contact The Whiz Cells today.