Are you spending too much time on your Screens?
How much of your day do you believe you spend staring at your phone, laptop, TV, or other electronic device? Research has led us to some startling facts that should make you rethink how much time you spend on screens each day.
Since Covid-19, the adoption of technology in businesses and schools has accelerated, increasing the amount of time we spend staring at screens. This is a result of taking classes online, working from home, and having more free time to stare at screens. Regarding schools, even though face-to-face instruction has returned, some activities are still carried out using in-class devices, both for the convenience of the students and to promote deeper learning.
Australia’s Tech Guide published an article in 2021 stating that they had conducted a survey of Australians to determine how many hours a day, on average, people spent staring at their phones. According to the report, the average Australian uses their smartphone for 5.5 hours per day. However, millennials and members of generation Z spend more than 7 hours each day using their smartphones. The data was compared to general wellbeing statistics such as life expectancy and sleep patterns, leading to the conclusion that we spend nearly 17 years of our lives glued to our screens.
Effects of long-term use on electronics
A significant time spent on screens undeniably results in negative effects. Major effects include:
- Headaches and eye strain – Spending too much time looking at a screen can create weariness or discomfort in your eyes, as well as dimmed vision. Screen glare and brightness can put additional pressure on your eyes, resulting in headaches.
- Insomnia and Sleep Deprivation – Light from the screen encourages your brain to stay awake, and constant input throughout the day might make it difficult to sleep at night.
- Addictive behaviour – People have an insatiable desire to use their device or use platforms, such as social media. Addictive behaviour frequently interferes with daily life. People use social media to cope with or modify their mood; nevertheless, studies have shown that when they are unable to access their phones or apps, they can experience withdrawal symptoms.
- Neck, Shoulder, and Back Pain – Sitting at a desk, typing or looking down, puts strain on the neck, shoulders, and back. When these positions are held for an extended period of time, they can cause pain and, in some cases, permanent injury.
- Cognitive Changes – Recent studies have indicated that people who have been diagnosed with smartphone addiction have difficulties with the area of their brain that is responsible for transmitting messages and have slow cognitive function.
As further research is undertaken, more implications may be found.
Tips to reduce screen time:
- Turn off notifications – Notifications trigger you to look on your phone and spend additional time on your phone. When you can’t see them, there will be no excuse for you to unnecessarily check your phone.
- Set a timer – When the timer goes off, put away the device and do something productive such as going for a walk.
- Leave your phone out of the bedroom – It is not a good idea to check your phone before going to bed or right after waking up in the morning. Leaving your phone outside the bedroom will reduce distractions and discipline you to spend less time on your phone and focus on sleeping.
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