My Iphone did its latest update a few weeks ago and along with it, a new Apple app called “screen time” was installed!
I was shocked to see I spent so much time on my phone! Don’t get me wrong, I am the first to admit I am totally addicted to Social Media but I didn’t quite realise how addicted!
The average person in the UK spends 24 hours a week online (mostly on their phone)! Guys, that is a WHOLE day! One whole day a week! I am sure we can be more productive than this!
In the UK the average person checks their phone every 12 minutes and 40 percent of adults check their phone within the first 5 minutes of waking up (I am guilty of this one!)
This is what happens in 1 minute on the internet
Whilst the media always reminds us how bad screen time is for children, how they are engaging less socially and how time in front of the screen has been linked to autism and ADHD, I was curious to research what kind of effect it would have on adults too!
I didn’t just want to know about phones, but I took into account other screens I use on a daily basis; I have dual computer screens at work, a widescreen plasma cinema style TV, Kindles, treadmill screens and a laptop too.
Negative effects of screens on our health
You may or may not know that many screens especially phones and LED TV’s omit blue light. This blue light can have a detrimental effect on our health because the blue light suppresses our melatonin levels. Melatonin is responsible for keeping our circadian levels in check, in short, melatonin keeps our sleep cycles regular.
If you find you are struggling to sleep, you may want to think twice before using your phone in bed!
There have also been studies to show that blue light can interfere with your sex hormones, causing breast problems in women and erectile dysfunction in men! Not only this but I see a lot of women keeping their phones down their bras and men keeping their phones in their pockets near their testicles or balancing warm laptops on their legs!The heat and radiation is another worry!
It is important to get regular eye tests if you use computers throughout the day and remember to take breaks as the screens can cause tiredness and headaches.
Screen time doesn’t just have a negative effect on your physical health but can impact your mental health too.
The more time you spend on social media, the more time you may be comparing yourself to others. This has been linked to anxiety, stress and depression!
Secondly,I am totally guilty of going out for dinner and spending more time taking photos of my food than socialising with the people in front of me!
What can we do to minimise time in front of screens
- If you work a desk job, make sure you have regular breaks, get up and stretch your legs
- Set limits on your phone, the screen time app actually allows you to choose how long you would like to spend online
- If you have trouble sleeping do not use a screen two hours before bedtime
- Make an effort when you are out with friends to have a no phone rule
- Special glasses are available which help to block out blue light
- Samsung phones have a blue light filter
- Spend time outside in nature
I would be interested to know how long you spend online and what are your top tips to avoid spending so much time on your phone?