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Feeling Blue (Light)

Whether we’re at work or school, scrolling through Instagram, or binge-watching Netflix, we’re totaling at 7+ hours on our devices.

These days, it seems like we spend more time looking at a screen than not. Whether we’re at work or school, scrolling through Instagram, or binge-watching the third season of The Good Place, we’re spending 7+ hours on our devices, and with that comes 7+ hours of blue light exposure.

Is that bad?

Yes and no. Blue light is a part of the visible light spectrum that contains the highest amount of energy. We actually interact with blue light every day; in fact, the main source of blue light comes from the sun. This is why the sky appears blue! The problem lies in the ever-increasing extent to which we expose our eyes to blue light. From computers to smartphones to tablets to watches, all of this screen time can lead to a myriad of issues, including:

  • Macular degeneration (Translation: Blurred eyesight, vision loss, and a whole lot of “What does that say?”)
  • Disrupted circadian rhythm (Translation: Zzz’s at 2 p.m.)
  • Premature aging (Translation: Hello wrinkles, fine lines and hyperpigmentation!)
What can we do to reduce the risks of these effects?

We found that the most realistic solution is to invest in a blue light blocking screen protector for our phones. If you’re anything like me, you’re checking your phone right when you wake up and just as you’re going to sleep, plus a whole bunch in between. At least this way, we can still have our screen time while protecting our eyes at the same time! 

Here are a few other ways we can be more mindful about our tech usage and to minimize the risks that come with it:

  • Turn down the brightness
  • Hold devices further away
  • Sleep with phone in a different room
  • Manage your screen time
  • Turn off notifications

Beyond meditation and green juices, wellness is about learning to cope with and adapt to our environment. If we’re spending the majority of our waking hours looking at a screen, tech wellness should definitely be high on our priority list.

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Alicia Zhang

Originally from Los Angeles, Alicia lived in Shanghai for 11 years before moving back to the states to attend the University of Miami, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and minors in art and philosophy. Currently residing in New York City, Alicia applies her knowledge of strategic communication and design in her career. She enjoys painting, rugby, exploring, and more often than not, you’ll find her petting someone’s dog.

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