8 reasons why you should reduce excess screen time

The advent of internet and social media has advanced communication to a great extent, but has it really improved it?

With so much information, contents, thrills, and of course the emergence of smart phones.


The constant access to internet through phones and other screen based technologies, like video games from our remote locations has become a daily routine.

But is it all good? Or has it become a problem of its own.

On average, teens & young adults (between the age of 13 to 35 years), spends about 11 hours a day staring at some kind of screen.

Whether that be a computer, phone, tablet, TV or another type of electronic device.

For office workers, some of that is unavoidable, but that extra recreational screen time isn’t doing anyone any good.

Whether we like it or not, digital devices are everywhere and some of us can barely put them down.

And while these devices can enhance learning and build community, they can also be detrimental to our physical and mental health.

What is considered excess screen time

A study which involves over 40,000 students between the ages of 2 to 17 years.

Found that more hours of screen time were associated with lower well-being.

The research showed that those with over 7 hours screen time suffered from less curiosity, a lack of self-control, and emotional instability.

While the research showed distortion in mental health and stability in kids, it effect was even more disastrous in teens.

Daily recreational screen time exceeding two hours for females and four hours for males, has been shown to have negative effects in mental health of teens and young adults according to another independent research.

Now let’s look at the negative effects of too much screen time

Psychological effects of excess screen time

Lack of emotional intelligence:

Excessive screen time which results in low outdoor activities or socialization can leads to underdeveloped emotional intelligence.

This is due to inability to empathize with or understand other people’s emotional states

Depression:

The rise of depression as a result of excessive screen time is on the increase.

With several cases being liked with social media, and is observed to more prevalent in young girls, with cyber bullying being a major contributor

Lack of self-confidence:

Low self confidence results from low social skills due to being engulfed in screen related activities and constantly comparing oneself with mostly fake characters online.

Low self-esteem:

Like the previous scenario above this is even more dangerous, as individuals tend to develop a lesser image of themselves due to the unrealistic expectations perceived from social media.

Mental lethargy:

Mental lethargy is mostly evident in teen, as the constant scrolling through feed and long game and movie hours reduces concentration and curiosity.

Thus the resultant lack of sleep also reduce cognitive function in general

Physical effects of excess screen time

Eye strain:

This is a more obvious effect, as we can feel this whenever we spend too much time in front of the screen this develops into eye defects with time.

Insomnia & poor sleep:

The disruption of circadian rhythm as a result of distortion of sleep pattern can lead to insomnia.

Sedentary lifestyle related complications:

This is evident when we trade time for physical activities to screen related activities, we lose opportunity to eliminate waste and excesses through exercise.

Such waste/excess develops into health complications in the future, some of these complication are obesity, diabetes etc.

All these lead to series of conditions, directly or indirectly decrease the quality of our daily life.

Recommendation

From the article we can see that to ensure optimal state of our health.

We should limit our daily recreational screen time to less than 4 hours to avoid health complication and enable increased productivity.

Ways to reduce excess screen time or limit its effects

  • Leverage modern tech for example track screen usage, set daily limits and use grey scale
  • Established tech free zones
  • Regularly engage in outfield activity
  • Read offline books
  • Prioritize face to face meeting
  • Reduce the amount of work you bring home.
  • Avoid blue light-emitting screen use before bedtime.