Screens surround us. Everyday, we are bombarded by technology, be it in the form of a phone, a tablet, a computer or a smart watch. Teens average 7 hours and 22 minutes of leisurely screen use every single day! Recently, I have found a soothing respite in breaking away from the blue light that characterises a lot of my life and I heartily encourage you to do the same.  Here’s why.

1. Sleep

Sleep is not only vital, but it provides a well-earned escape from the hassles of the previous day. Moreover, when you neglect obtaining adequate sleep, you often face unwanted issues the following day, such as an inability to focus and excessive tiredness. Not to mention the more long-term effects of failing to rest: increased illness duration, excess weight gain and an increased risk of heart disease. Constantly staring at screens not only supresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, making it more difficult to fall asleep, but also worsens the quality of your sleep.

2. Addiction

Whilst becoming addicted to being online sounds quite extreme, a pretty common side-effect of screen use is that impulse control becomes harder. This can lead to problems in other areas of your life, such as overeating, spending money carelessly and making hasty, regrettable decisions that negatively impact your future. In the unfortunate case that you do become addicted to playing video games or browsing the web, you can suffer from an inhibition to socialise outside of an online context, which can impair you in a plethora of jobs. It can be very hard to recover from a screen-addiction if this does occur. Likewise, you begin to venture outside less and miss out on the beautiful world around you, man-made or natural.

3. Procrastination

Although short-term procrastination is not limited to watching YouTube videos or playing “just one more” Valorant game, from my experience and from what I have heard from other people, technology and the internet lure us away from accomplishing our goals. Imagine what you could have achieved if you spent the time that you waste surfing the web on something far more productive. The gratification received from playing video games or perusing the website of your favourite store also threatens academic performance and future professional performance, making it much harder to pursue your ambitions.

Personally, after undergoing a recent technology detox, I have been able to admire the environment around me: the people, the nature and my own thoughts (as cliché as that sounds). I highly encourage you to actively try to reduce your screen time for just one week and hopefully enjoy the same benefits.