With Black Friday and Cyber Monday right around the corner, you may be practicing your hockey checks and loading your bag up with paper weights just to get that edge over the competition when the doors to your local electronics store opens at midnight (or maybe you’re just using the internet like a normal person). But before you snag that fancy new piece of tech you’ve been eyeing all year, its important to understand how certain aspects of our growing dependence on technology may be causing signs of aging to develop more quickly than would otherwise naturally occur. Here are a few ways in which the tech we love so dearly is gradually damaging our skin.
“Don’t sit so close to the TV,” is probably a phrase ingrained in your memory from childhood which you don’t think too much of anymore, mainly because at this point your screen is in your hand, typically inches from your face. Be it laptop, tablet or smartphone, you’re living your over-concerned parent’s nightmare every day by constantly being too close to the TV wherever you go. But isn’t that whole thing just another old wives tale?
To an extent, the fear of damaging your eyes by staring at a screen for too long is a bit overblown, but there are certainly health effects that can occur if exposed over a long enough period of time. The real problem is, when you are staring at a screen, your eyes are constantly focused, causing you to blink a lot less. Over time this can cause computer vision syndrome, dry eyes, and trouble keeping your eyes focused, causing you to squint.
Over time, squinting can result in the development of fine lines and wrinkles around you eyes. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to combat this damaging technological side-effect. When using a device with a screen for a prolonged period of time, observe the 20-20 rule which means every 20 minutes, look away from your screen (preferably at something in the distance) for 20 seconds to give your eyes a break. Make an effort to blink more often and adjust the settings on your screen to something easier on the eyes.
Protect Your Neck
There’s no way to put this without sounding like an old curmudgeon so here it goes: these darn kids are always looking down at their dang phones as the whole world passes ’em by!
That felt good to get off my chest. The larger point of concern with this, beyond the whole “world passin’ ’em by” thing, is the fact that when you look down at your phone, you’re putting 5 to 6 times the normal amount of pressure on your neck, not only causing neck wrinkles to form, but also posture problems and excess stress to your spinal column.
The obvious way to fight the phenomenon a lot of people are calling “tech neck” is pretty simple: keep your head straight. It may be weird in a lot of situations to bring your phone up to eye level, since it looks like you’re taking a picture or video of whoever happens to be in front of you, so just be conscious of this problem so you can pick your moments to pick your head up. The other obvious way to fight these signs of aging is to use products which are designed to protect the neck and décolleté areas from developing wrinkles and fine lines.
Get Some Rest
Taking your phone, tablet or laptop to bed is an easy habit to pick up but your late night Candy Crush games are wreaking havoc on your sleep cycle. The blue light emitted from any of your device’s screens are proven to suppress the amount of melatonin your body produces, a chemical which directly effects your circadian rhythms (internal clock). In a study conducted by Harvard, when patients were exposed to 6.5 hours of both blue and green light, the blue light suppressed the production of melatonin for twice the amount of time as the green light.
Lack of sleep and the stress associated with it can severely effect your overall health and the effects will start to show on your skin. Wrinkles, dark circles around your eyes, fine lines, and a deteriorating complexion are just a few of the side effects that come from physical and mental exhaustion, especially on a regular basis.
The easiest fix for this problem is just to stop using your devices an hour before bed. But, if you absolutely need to use it in bed, there are programs such as f.lux for your computer or Night Shift for you Apple device which will block out the blue light your screen emits to give your eyes a break.
Hopefully these tips will help you fight any tech-wrinkles so you can keep that beautiful complexion of yours buried in your phone without having to worry.
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