A few decades ago, social media addiction and excessive screen time weren’t a concern. Nevertheless, it is believed that youngsters spend between eight and eighteen hours per day on their gadgets, and during quarantine, screen time for both children and adults increased significantly. As our digital-first culture increasingly uses screens for education, business, and family communication, we must all be aware of the symptoms of excessive screen usage and the dangers of disregarding the warning signals.
In actuality? Screen time is the new smoking, and we are now through an experiment to see how bad it is for us. As science evolves, the greatest thing you can do is protect your eyes and health from blue light. The following are mental and physical manifestations of excessive screen usage.
Blue light exposure from our devices, especially during overnight hours, interrupts our sleep because it upsets our normal circadian cycle. The sun, our natural supply of blue light, controls daytime alertness. However, when we are exposed to blue light during non-dawn hours, our systems suppress the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin, and we are deprived of quality REM sleep. Adults and children who engage in late-night screen time, even for brief periods, confuse their bodies into producing less melatonin, which makes it more difficult to fall asleep.
Keeping our bodies in this attentive and awake state may also cause cortisol, a stress hormone, to be released, which can raise physical tension. As a result of reading through our inboxes and social media, the brain’s electrical activity gets overloaded, making it more difficult to put the body and brain into a calm condition for sleep. And the consequences compound. Even missing one hour of sleep every night might result in:
- Decreased mental capacity
- Mental fog
- Reduced concentration
- Complicated or hazardous decision-making
- Lower energy levels
- Changes in mood, including stress, anxiety, irritability, and even sadness
Vision Impairment and Irritation in the Short-Term
Anyone who spends significant time in front of a screen should be worried if their eyes burn, get dry, red, or watery. Additionally, you should be aware of headaches, impaired vision, and light sensitivity. The computer vision condition affects 75% of computer workers. People blink 66% less while they are gazing at screens, resulting in symptoms such as dryness, redness, eyestrain, and impaired vision.
Long-Term Eye Injury
In an increasing number of research, a correlation between screen usage and myopia has been shown. Despite the evident impact of heredity on children’s and adults’ eyesight, screen time and less time spent outside are also a reason for worry. According to landmark 2013 research, Taiwanese educators recommended 80 minutes of outdoor recess every day. A year later, just 8% of the youngsters in their classrooms had myopia diagnosed. Significantly, local schools that did not impose indoor time limitations had 18% of their students diagnosed with myopia.
Inadequate Emotional Development and Social Competence
A common way for parents to keep their children occupied and entertained is by giving them access to electronic media. Although a little amount of time spent in front of a screen isn’t a huge cause for worry, it’s possible to claim that we all spend far more time than that doing it. This kind of distraction prevents children from spending as much time as they would want interacting with other people, which leads to a loss in the social intelligence of young people. They have trouble speaking and maintaining relationships with adults and other children. The end outcome is a standstill in the development of society over the long term.
In addition to social concerns, early childhood screen use is also associated with emotional disorders and familial troubles. By restricting their emotional and social ability, children lose out on essential skill development:
- Survival skills:Using active listening, avoiding distractions, and positive self-talk
- Interpersonal competencies: Sharing, requesting permission, taking turns, and joining activities
- Problem-solving skill: Soliciting assistance, taking responsibility and consequences, and making suggestions
Weight Gain and Diabetes
Screen time has long been identified as one of the contributing causes of childhood and adult obesity. In addition to a sedentary lifestyle, poor sleep may boost your appetite and desire for junk food. Excessive screen usage is often accompanied by excessive sitting and a condition of rest. Once again, screen time may have snowball consequences. Being overly sedentary may also result in musculoskeletal problems, which can cause aches and pains that hinder our everyday health and enjoyment.
However, it is more than simply a sedentary lifestyle. In most situations, increased screen time increases exposure to advertisements and digital marketing materials that encourage hazardous behaviors. Continued exposure to these pictures and messages affects the human psyche and may alter food patterns and behaviors, despite the fact that individuals may know better.
Poor mood and drowsiness, headaches, dry or watery eyes, and sensitivity to light are all physical manifestations of excessive screen usage. While quality screen protectors can help with the latter group, the only way to prevent blue light from interfering with your sleep and circadian rhythm (which can lead to mood disorders, drowsiness, obesity, diabetes, and much more) is to avoid screen time in the evening and wear dark yellow blue light glasses when you do use screens at night.
We may have difficulty learning and transferring information from short-term to long-term memory if screen time is not managed. We may suffer mood fluctuations, feel angry, have difficulty focusing, and even manifest symptoms of worry. Vision impairment and early weight gain may also arise. If these symptoms are neglected or inadequately treated, they may lead to far more severe problems, including obesity, nearsightedness or retinal degeneration, mood disorders such as depression, and even emotional and social halted development in children.
Fortunately, there are methods to counteract these consequences.
- Stop using electronic devices at least two hours before bed.
- Never permit screens in the bedroom, particularly at night.
- Be sure to move, spend time outside, and indulge in daily physical exercise.
- Utilize digital gadgets at night while wearing yellow-dark glasses.