“Now, I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.” I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase as the wave of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer bombarded all over the globe. Well, in today’s time, according to the Tenet director, AI could have its Oppenheimer moment soon, but are you aware of the slow death? In easy words, the thirst to keep yourself entertained (instead of hydrated) by staying glued to your smartphone screens.
Wherever you are, be it on a jam-packed train, at the hospital, or walking in a park, the place doesn’t matter; you will notice hundreds of people in a day with their heads glued to the screens. Nobody has time to look up and live like humans are destined to live. We are addicted to smartphones and are completely dependent on them; for what? Only to kill boredom, as we can not spend an hour without checking our phones.
Just came back after having a look at my phone. Though I didn’t get any notifications, I still ended up spending close to 10 minutes on it. Now, why are our minds not keeping up with the fact that longer screen time can harm us? Sadly, over the years, we’ve built ourselves around smartphones, by spending too much time on gaming, chatting, binge-watching, scrolling on social media, and whatnot.
Recently, while scrolling through the news, I stumbled upon one article mentioning news about a man who tweeted a screenshot of how much time his grandfather spent on a phone. It was barely 10 minutes, where most of his time was spent checking emails. Meanwhile, the average person spent 6 hours and 58 minutes per day on screen, bouncing from Netflix to Instagram to Twitter to YouTube.
Why Screen Time Matters?
After reading the article, I checked the time I spent on a smartphone, besides spending 8 hours on a laptop while working, and the result was startling. On a daily basis, I spend 5 to 6 hours on my phone and almost half of it while working. That’s a hell lot of screen time and maybe the reason why I feel exhausted throughout the day. And it’s not just in my case, it is happening with most people.
While technology has undoubtedly revolutionised our lives, excessive screen time can have significant consequences on our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Have you heard about the sedentary lifestyle? The one where we spend most of our time on screens, which leads to various physical health issues. Spending hours glued to screens often means less physical activity, leading to obesity and related health problems.
Additionally, extensive screen use can strain your eyes, causing dry eyes, digital eye strain, and headaches. The blue light emitted by screens disrupts our circadian rhythm, affecting sleep patterns and overall health. Excessive screen time creates an impact on mental health. Studies have shown a strong correlation between heavy screen use and an increased risk of anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
Constant exposure to social media platforms can trigger feelings of inadequacy and negatively impact self-esteem as individuals compare their lives to carefully curated online personas. Moreover, excessive screen time can hamper cognitive function and concentration. The constant barrage of information and digital distractions can make it challenging to focus on tasks, leading to decreased productivity.
Real-life relationships are essential for our emotional well-being, but due to excessive screen time, we find it hard to have face-to-face interactions with family and friends. Limiting screen time is especially crucial for children and adolescents. Excessive screen exposure during their formative years can impede proper brain development, hinder language acquisition, and affect their attention span negatively. It can also contribute to behavioural problems and academic difficulties.
The blue light emitted by screens interferes with the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for regulating sleep. Prolonged screen exposure, especially before bedtime, can disrupt the natural sleep-wake cycle and lead to insomnia or poor sleep quality. A lack of restorative sleep can have a domino effect on physical and mental health, affecting mood, cognitive abilities, and overall performance. So, on the event of India’s 76th Independence Day, start giving yourself freedom from screen time.