Friday April 10, 2020

Here’s How Excessive Screen Time Can Affect Your Health

Can excessive screen time cause skin ageing? Find it out here

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Screen time
More time is being spent on smartphones, tablets or computer screens and less and less time spent playing outside, reading a book, or socializing with peers. Pixabay

BY PUJA GUPTA

Screens are everywhere in this day and age. Digital devices have become less of a pastime and more of a troubling habit. Exposure to adequate levels of natural light during the day has been reduced and there is over exposure to relatively high levels of artificial light at night. More time is being spent on smartphones, tablets or computer screens and less and less time spent playing outside, reading a book, or socializing with peers.

Sitting at a computer all day and peering into the phones at night, the screen time exposure is much more than the previous generations. This has led to a growing concern over the safety of these light sources as we don’t yet know even half the damage that all of this may, or may not, be doing to our body.

Excessive screen time has been linked to insomnia, mood disturbances and eye damage previously, and now a new aspect of its relation with skin ageing is under research. Dr Richa Nagpal, Consultant, Dermatology, Fortis Hospital, Noida explains this in detail.

Screen time
Sitting at a computer all day and peering into the phones at night, the screen time exposure is much more than the previous generations. Pixabay

All the digital screens are known to emit high energy visible light also called as ‘The Blue light’. As the name suggests, it lies in the spectrum of visible light and has a short wavelength (450-490 nm) and higher amount of energy. Sunlight is the major source of blue light outdoors and the LEDs, fluorescent lights and digital screens (found on TVs, smartphones, computers, laptops, tablets and gaming systems) form the main indoor sources.

Although, the amount of high energy visible light these devices emit is only a fraction of that emitted by the sun, but the amount of time people spend using these devices and the proximity of these screens is a cause of concern.

Excessive screen time has been linked to insomnia, mood disturbances and eye damage previously, and now a new aspect of its relation with skin ageing is under research. Natural skin ageing is a gradual process that occurs over a period of years. The production of reactive oxygen species increases with age and the ability of human skin cells to repair DNA damage steadily decreases with ageing.

The primary concern with exposure to blue light is that it generates free radicals, which plays an important part in skin ageing. Since it has high energy it can penetrate deep into the collagen and elastin causing further skin damage.

Screen time
Excessive screen time has been linked to insomnia, mood disturbances and eye damage. Pixabay

Excessive screen time also disrupts the circadian rhythm, which is necessary for a sound sleep and the cellular repair which is greatest at night. So, on top of accelerating the production of free radicals, the regeneration process of skin is also compromised. Theoretically, an increased risk of pigmentary disorders such as hyperpigmentation is there with chronic use of smartphones and other electronic devices.

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A lot of research is being done into the effects of visible light on skin and as of now the likelihood that blue light leads to premature ageing of the skin is very remote and its role in hyperpigmentation remains speculative. However, keeping in mind the probable health concerns associated with the blue light, the screen time should be minimised. It is a good idea to shut off all the digital devices a couple of hours before bed.

Further exposure can be reduced by either adjusting the level of blue light on the screens or use of specialised screen that filters blue light. (IANS)

Next Story

Twitter Rolls Back a Privacy Setting That Allowed Users To Stop Sharing Personal Data With Advertisers

Twitter said in a statement that the move is "part of our ongoing work around transparency and control"

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Twitter
Twitter said in a statement that the move is "part of our ongoing work around transparency and control". Pixabay

In a weird move apparently to bring in more ad dollars, Twitter has rolled back a privacy setting that allowed users to stop sharing some personal data with its advertisers, saying the update will help the company “continue operating as a free service.”

Users in India and elsewhere received the pop-up message late Wednesday, which said that “the control you have over what information Twitter shares with its business partners has changed.” “Specifically, your ability to control mobile app advertising measurements has been removed, but you can control whether to share some non-public data to improve Twitter’s marketing activities on other sites and apps,” read the pop-up.

An option in Twitter’s privacy settings called “Share your data with Twitter’s business partners” used to let users disable sharing some of their personal information. That setting is still there but you have no control over “mobile app advertising measurements”, unless you are in Europe or in the UK where you can still opt out from sharing “non-public” personal information like device identifiers.

Twitter said in a statement that the move is “part of our ongoing work around transparency and control”. “Twitter shares certain non-public personal information with certain digital advertising platforms to help measure and optimize the effectiveness of our efforts to market Twitter on those platforms,” said the company.

Twitter
In a weird move apparently to bring in more ad dollars, Twitter has rolled back a privacy setting that allowed users to stop sharing some personal data with its advertisers, saying the update will help the company “continue operating as a free service”. Pixabay

This information can include IP address and mobile device advertising identifiers for devices that open or log in to Twitter’s mobile apps, but does not include your name, email, phone number, or Twitter username, said the company.

Twitter shares certain non-public personal information with advertisers who run mobile application advertising campaigns through its platform. This information can include which ads a particular browser or device saw, watched, or otherwise interacted with.

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Additionally, Twitter said it will now run ads for its app on Facebook and Google. Users can opt out of sharing “non-public” data such as whether or not they installed Twitter’s app as a result of an ad with Google and Facebook. (IANS)