Today, a smartphone has become the ultimate tool that can do multiple things. From watching movies to using the device to order food from your favorite restaurant, you can do everything on mobile. Apart from this, don’t forget how mobiles can connect you with others via text messages, phone calls, and emails. Plus, there are social media apps such as Instagram and Facebook that can easily make a person hooked to it.
Apart from smartphones, there’s cable TV like the Cox Cable with plenty of entertainment and other channels. Then, there are tablets, laptops, and AI devices that keep people busy. But, considering how everyone winds up spending so much time glued to their screen, it makes one wonder; does screen time affect mental health?
The Effects of Screens on Teens and Kids
Technology and screens are mostly marketed to children and teens. And sometimes, they do it so flawlessly that it makes the individual want it badly as a result of which they request their parents to buy them. However, if you are a perfect parent who always fulfills their child’s wish, keep in mind that the research has suggested that those who frequently use the screen may develop delays in language acquisition.
Also, remember that as screen usage increases, your child might start to have little to no social interaction. You have to realize that when a child reaches adolescence and becomes a young adult, it will become important for him/her to have strong interpersonal skills, which is crucial in building healthy relationships with people. Therefore, if screens are prevalent in your child’s life, it is your responsibility as a parent to make sure that they connect with others regularly.
Screens & Sleep
Some people can’t live without screens. And this obsession is so intense that they will continue to use the screens until they sleep. If you happen to be one of those individuals, then note that according to research screen time affects both the quality and the duration of sleep. This is noticeable for young adults who not only have screens in their rooms which may include computers and televisions but also have access to them before going to bed.
If you are not careful about your sleep, then this can affect your mental health negatively. You may fall victim to anxiety and depression. Therefore, it is important for you to practice good sleep hygiene. This means to stop using your electronic devices at least 30 minutes prior to sleep.
Influences Your Self-Esteem
One of the major reasons why people are always glued to their screens is because of social media. The reason is pretty simple: it’s addictive! Different social media platforms like Instagram can make the person scrolling through the news feed endlessly. There is no denying that social media can help you connect with your loved ones. However, there is a dark side to it as well. You see, there are all kinds of persons on these platforms, from celebrities to influencers with lavish lifestyles. You can easily start comparing them to yourself, and this is where the problem will begin.
After seeing their pictures and noticing how good their life is, you may start to develop low self-esteem for yourself. At the same time, you will begin to talk negatively about yourself and would start to have body image issues. If you start to feel poorly about yourself while using social media, you should consider unfollowing those celebrities or influencers. Also, reduce the time that you are spending on such apps. This will greatly help you to regain your confidence.
No Physical Activity
If you are someone who is using screens all the time, then it means that you are spending less or no time in doing physical activity. This is not right. You should consider changing this as it will lead you to obesity and with it comes different health-related diseases. So, what should you do? Well, do what you love doing the most! If you are interested in yoga, then do that. If you like exercising, then lay down the mat and do those crunches along with some sit-ups.
The Question Remains…
So, does screen time is really harmful to your mental health? Well, the answer to this question lies in the way you are utilizing your screen time. Are you using it to connect with your loved ones, or are you using it to compare yourself with someone else, which is resulting in low self-esteem? Technology is awesome! It can make your really simple.
However, you have to be mindful about how you use it and learn to take care of your screen time. Otherwise, you may end up following a self-destructive path! You should use it to support your mental health rather than to harm it.
Alex is fascinated with “understanding” people. It’s actually what drives everything he does. He believes in a thoughtful exploration of how you shape your thoughts, experience of the world.