Trying to get away from computer screens nowadays is next to impossible. They're incredibly important to most people's daily lives, and if you're like many people, a large portion of your day is spent looking at a screen of some kind. This can unfortunately cause serious strain on the body and mind. If you spend an inordinate amount of time with your face in a screen, you may want to be aware of these complications. Here are some of the negative side effects of too much screen time.
The harmful blue light from screens that's projected directly into our eyes can harm us physically in a couple of ways. Staring too long at a screen can cause your eyes to become dry and achy. Excessive screen time can even do damage to your retinas and cause blurry vision. If that wasn't bad enough, most people are hunched over when they are looking at screens, causing strain on the neck and back as well.
Increased Physical Health Risks
If you're looking at a screen, chances are you're not doing much else. One of the scariest side effects of too much screen time is how it can lead to poor health decisions, which itself can lead to dangerous consequences. Moving your body is crucial to keeping it working and functioning properly, and loads of screen time just encourages us to be more sedentary, putting ourselves at further risk and depriving us of the benefits that fresh air, exercise, and movement can provide.
Poor Sleep Quality
A more subtle problem that we might not attribute to screen time is a reduction in our sleep quality. Many people now end their days with long stretches of looking at their phones or computers. All that light and movement right before bed makes it difficult for your brain to turn off for the night and recuperate. If you've noticed that your sleep quality is much lower than usual, try to change your screen time habits before bed.
Did you know that too much screen time can actually change our brains' physical makeup? Excessive screen time has been shown to shrink the gray matter in our brains. Over enough time, this shrinkage can cause a lot of issues such as:
- Trouble concentrating
- Slower information processing
- Weaker impulse control
- Weaker memory
- Reduced problem-solving capabilities
For all these reasons, it's important that we be more cognizant of how much screen time we allow ourselves. Our phones, computers, and televisions may seem like sirens' calls sometimes, but the more we fight against the urge to stare at a screen, the healthier we can be both physically and mentally.