Technology has had a transformative effects on our lives during the last few decades, and from MRI scanning to using social media to locate loved ones after catastrophic events, many of its applications are quite literally life-saving. However, there is a dark side to technology and that doesn’t just mean being glued to Instagram taking selfies all day all day. The real impact of technology use on our health is only just beginning to be quantified, but what we do know about, we can guard our families against…
Skin Damage From Your Tablet
Our trusty tablets can be a lifesaver in some respects, but dreadful for our skin. Dermatologists are beginning to conclude that High Energy Visible Light (HEV), which is emitted from phone screens and tablets, can cause damage to the skin and ultimately lead to it aging quicker. A couple of skincare brands have since launched day creams claiming to protect against screen usage – Murad and BareMinerals are where to look if this concerns you. But it isn’t just one area of concern. Using our tablets and phones at night means the natural hormone which sends us to sleep- melatonin – is disturbed. This can disrupt our sleeping patterns and result in less restorative deep Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, which is when cells in the body regenerate themselves. Without REM sleep, again skin can become damaged. Laptops can also be a potential hazard- find out how to protect yourself from electromagnetic radiation. And that isn’t all – using phones or tablets outside in the sunlight reflects UV light back into your face which can lead to burning and sun damage. So make sure kids are wearing sunscreen if they insist on using screens outside.
Our mobiles can also cause damage to our eyes, as the screens are often held too close to our faces. I have frequently experienced tired eyes and even blurred vision through staring at screens for too long. The constant strain can damage vision, let alone stressing the neck and shoulders from the hunched over posture we tend to develop while spending long periods looking at our screens. So much pressure on your neck can be highly damaging and can lead to conditions like tendonitis. To remedy this, make sure that you and other members of your family take a break after every 20 minutes of screentime for at least as long.
Loneliness On Social Media
The famous saying ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ may have been coined long before Facebook, Twitter and Instagram dominated our lives, but the saying has never rung more true. Studies are showing that constantly refreshing those feeds has the effect of making you feel lonelier, which in turn drives us to log on more. This can be even more pronounced in teenagers, who are less emotionally resilient. Luckily, there is now a host of apps available that can put a temporary block on social media to give us a break. Taking time out from the virtual world to reconnect with friends and family in real life is absolutely vital, so make sure your family has regular technology time outs.