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We’re now spending more time on digital devices than ever before, (up to 11 hours a day) as our phones, tablets and laptops compel us to constantly check them so that we stay connected and avoid the dreaded ‘FOMO’.

And while the digital revolution is positively impacting everything around us, from communication, work, food, shopping and travel, to education, research, finance, and employment, it’s also impacting our physical and mental health; not necessarily for the better.

Here are four ways too much screen time is negatively effecting your wellbeing:

1. Computer Vision Syndrome

Yes, this is a thing now. Also known as ‘digital eye strain’, CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome) is a vision problem caused by activities that stress near vision, such as looking at a computer, tablet, or cellphone screen for long periods of time. Symptoms include eyestrain and ache, dryness, irritation, redness, burning, double or blurred vision, and even neck or shoulder pain.

2. SAA (Screen Addicts Anonymous)

Mobile phone addiction is not just something fed up parents diagnose their children with, it’s real. A study that spanned 10 countries revealed that students experience acute distress when without their cellphones for 24 hours. While in reality, most people check their phones at least 150 times a day and send 100 or more texts.

This excessive and obsessive cellphone use has been linked to anxiety, stress and depression, as well as lack of concentration, short-term memory loss and short attention spans.

3. Sleeping ugly

A Harvard Medical School study revealed that individuals who read an e-book before bed felt less tired, experienced reduced melatonin secretion, and reduced alertness the next morning – compared to those who read a printed book.

4. Stressed and depressed

A study from Duke University revealed that when adolescents use their devices more, they were more likely to engage in negative behaviour like lying and fighting and struggled to pay attention.

While the study also linked positive behaviour to technology use, and is only preliminary, with more research still emerging, countless patients in therapy report anxiety, stress and depression caused by too much social media scrolling.

Some people even associate “social media detoxes”, in which they delete apps like Instagram and Facebook from their phones for short periods of time, drastically improves their sense of well-being.

Check out next week’s post for tips on how to get some much-needed time off from your devices.

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