Every week, my weekly screen time report pops up on my iPhone and as much as I would looooveeeee to live in a perpetual state of denial and ignore that looming pop up notification of how many hours I’ve spent on my phone, I will generally choose to live my truth.
Confession: the average number is always really high and it gives me slight anxiety. Look, I’m not proud of it and the excuse I constantly tell myself over and over again is that I always have to check my phone for work since I’m in digital but truth be told, I actually feel shitty when it’s over 5 hours a day which *gasp* it always is and that doesn’t account for my laptop screen time. Please don’t judge me.
That’s 5 whole hours of me just scrolling and looking on my phone when I could be doing so many other things like creating/working out/hanging/cooking/baking/learning lyrics to a song – you name it! And although the average number of hours spent on my phone is an even split of work, music, podcasts, and Instagram, I feel like I need to find ways to cut that number drastically down because tech face is damaging to your skin, sleep, and overall health.
Unfortunately, many of us are addicted to our devices whether we like to admit it or not. We’re addicted to working 24/7, constantly bombarded with information/stream overload, hyperstimulated with content, addicted to the hustle, and we even source our inspiration and mood boards from social these days.
So, I’m here to give you (and myself) a nice little wake-up call to remind us that we can all afford to be more mindful of our screentime and blue light (also referred to as High Energy Visible or HEV light). For those of you who don’t fully know what blue light is – it’s essentially a range of visible light spectrum that comes from using technology like phones, computers, televisions, and lights. Translation? It’s everywhere and blue light radiation from phones and screens penetrates deeper into the skin than UVA and UVB rays combined. Whoa, right?
So, here’s what you need to know about protecting yourself from blue light because, in addition to potentially affecting overall eye health, blue light can penetrate all the way to our dermis, where our collagen and elastin live”. Read: wrinkling and sagging as a result.
Here are some ways to protect yourself:
1. 20/20/20 rule – every 20 minutes you’re on your computer, make sure to look 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This task seems easy but we all fail to do it. Try adding a post-it note on your laptop to remind you. Or a timer.
2. Consider getting blue light protection glasses if you’re on your computer for over 8 hours a day and feel like your eyes are overly strained and dry. Talk to your optometrist to see if blue light glasses would be a good choice for you, your workload, and your lifestyle. You can usually bring any pair of glasses you like to your optometrist and they can send them out to have the lens replaced. Or, you can just buy a pair that suits your face but I’m pretty picky about glasses because it’s hard to find ones that fit my small nose. I have the Dita Mikro Eyeglasses which are pricey but are worth it and fit my face perfectly.
3. Apply a special filter/protector to your screen. This works for your phone, tablet, or laptop. They are inexpensive and absorb much of the blue light emitted.