Instead of holding a phone or tablet in your face, sometimes you have to keep it old school and read a newspaper.
Social media is a gift and a curse. I often find myself spending hours on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, simply chatting with others (it’s kind of my job). However, the hours that I spend in front of my laptop, iPad, or on my cell phone, are doing some serious damage to my overall well-being. On top of that, it is also ruining your skin.
Back in 2015, Good House Keeping, Allure, and a few other publications stated that our phones were actually damaging our skin (well a plastic surgeon actually said it, they just wrote about it). It causes everything from breakouts to wrinkles. On top of that, it can cause poor health in general, because many people lose sleep due to being on their phones late at night, instead of actually sleeping (which I wholeheartedly attest to).
However, skin issues aren’t the only thing you should be aware of. Here are 5 digital habits you need to break…for your health.
- Binging on your favorite TV show: I’ll be the first to admit I love a good tv binge. Before season 7 of Game of Thrones, I had to catch up on seasons 5 and six so I literally binged for 20 hours straight (with no sleep). This is nowhere near healthy. The older I get, I realize that I can’t do the things that I used to do. That’s not saying that tv binges are only for the perky 20-somethings, no one really should be doing them. Even infrequent binges are bad for your health. If you are caught up watching your favorite tv show, try and take a break every couple of episodes and move around. Better yet you can do these awesome “lazy girl” exercises while watching tv.
- Being glued to your phone all day: The average person looks down at their phone 221 times a day. Working from home and being a blogger, I am 100% guilty of this as well, as sometimes it just can’t be avoided. Not only is staring at your phone just an awful habit in general, it’s also really bad for your neck. Staring at a phone or laptop can lead to tech neck; “The act of holding your head flexed and forward while looking down at your handheld device and/or laptop screen places your cervical spine in a tenuous position”– If you work a computer all day, try frequently changing positions and as soon as you feel pain, stop what you are doing. I’m sure in the coming years we will hear about a lot of complications and more “injuries” due to increasing tech neck.
- Your nightly social media scan: It never fails that when I get into bed, I immediately hop on Pinterest and start pinning. It’s almost as if being in the bed and surfing Pinterest were made for one another. The bad part is, even after I put my phone down I have the hardest time falling asleep. This is because of the screen brightness. The light from the screen (or television) tricks your brain into thinking you are actually awake when really you are trying to fall asleep. My doctor told my husband that it would be a good idea if I removed all electronic devices from our room. None of us have televisions in our bedroom and my phone and iPad now charge in the living room when I go to bed. This may seem extreme, but I had such a nasty habit of being on my phone late into the evening that it was messing up my sleep patterns, and the lack of sleep was making me pretty damn impossible to live with.
- Work it out: If you are stuck at a computer all day, make sure you are practicing proper posture, or else you may end up with some nasty back problems or even worse a hump in your back.
- Check yourself: I know how it is when you are working and finally get into a really good groove. I’m in one right now! However, you have to know when to call it quits. Staring at a screen all day can do a number on your eyes and the last thing you want to Staring at a screen all day can really do a number on your vision, from causing dry eyes and eye strain to astigmatism and why start squinting before you have to? Don’t be afraid to disconnect and take a break from your electronics.
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.