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Thursday, September 23, 2021


Decreasing your screen time might be the best thing for your health

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

As we stay inside for a longer period of time, many of us have to utilize technology and screens in order to carry out every day tasks. 

For students taking online classes, this means that instead of getting up to go to school they are now getting up to stare at a screen consistently for a large portion of their day.

The problem with this is that computers aren’t the only screens workers and students are looking at daily. People are constantly staring at other screens like TVs and smartphones.

Because we are now finding ourselves in front of screens for a longer amount of time than we did pre-pandemic, it’s important that we learn to take breaks from all the technology around us.

The effects of long periods screen time

It’s no secret that staring at a screen for too long can cause health issues, both physical and psychological.

The physical effects can include eye straining, headaches and fatigue. This can be harmful because it causes people to feel even more tired and physically exhausted than they would with less screen time.

This occurs from our eyes staring at the screen for so long that our bodies negatively react, causing exhaustion and even having the potential to cause longer lasting effects such as myopia, or nearsightedness.

Psychological effects include a lack of socialization and increased anxiety. These effects can be especially damaging for younger children or teens, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be damaging to adults too.

Constantly staring at screens gets in the way of socializing with other real people. Many of us stare at screens so often that we ignore the world around us and this is what leads to a lack of socialization.

Increased anxiety can come from the physical and mental stress of using technology so often. Our interactions and what we witness through technology are just a few factors that can lead to increases in our stress levels, therefore causing anxiety.

Take a break from the screens

Technology has become a large part of our lives, especially during the pandemic. Because of this and the potential risks and effects of staring at too many screens for too long, we have to find ways to limit our use of technology so that we can maintain our physical and mental health.

In order to prevent the effects of an excess of screen time, we must limit how much technology we use during the day.

It can be tempting to watch TV or scroll through your phone throughout the day, but we have to remember that today we are on our screens for a longer amount of time than ever before. 

This is why we need to put down our phones, turn off our TVs and laptops and take a moment each day to go outside and enjoy the weather, play with your pet, take a nap, or even just play a board game with your family.

Limiting how often we look at screens can help increase our productivity, decrease distractions, help us live a healthier lifestyle, and it allows us to be more attentive of the world around us.

Although we have no choice but to deal with long periods of screen time in our present lives, there are plenty of ways to ensure that we do it in a healthy way, so that we can be productive and not be negatively affected.

Kimberly Argueta is a political science freshman who can be reached at [email protected]

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