Health, Science-Technology

'Excessive tech use can hasten aging'

Long hours spent on cellphones and exposure to light from screens has physiological and psychological costs, says expert

Burak Dag   | 19.09.2021
'Excessive tech use can hasten aging'

ANKARA

Excessive use of technological gadgets not only detaches a person from the world around them but can also hasten aging, according to a Turkish expert.

"Long hours spent in front of the phone and the light emanating from its screen causes aging," social media specialist Deniz Unay told Anadolu Agency.

Unay, an Istanbul-based author and speaker on science and technology, also claimed that people who are addicted to technology tend to consume fast food, which in turn disrupts their eating patterns, leading to obesity.

Maintaining that the human body is an enormous system that works in sync, Unay said: "Trouble that takes place in one part of this system will spread to the whole system and damage the structure of vital organs especially and make them age.”

On the various lights emanating from phones, tablets, and computers, the tech expert said research has shown that blue light at least is not innocent at all.

He said light not only allows people to see but also “synchronizes the human biological clock, the 24-hour cycle.”

"Blue light is an agent (in the cycle) because the short waves that come with the light manipulate the circadian system, which keeps the biological and psychological rhythms of the person in sync," he explained.

Underlining that circadian rhythm is highly important for the functioning of organisms, Unay said that this system causes both sleep and waking interruptions and thus also psychiatric and neurodegenerative ailments.

Blue light causes the blues

Citing an article published by Joerg Liebmann and Matthias Born in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Unay said: "Research shows that blue light, especially from electronic devices, causes changes in your skin cells, including cell shrinkage and death.”

"We think that blue light not only affects our condition during the day but also triggers aging with its effect on the skin," Unay said.

Yet blue light emitted from technological devices has both harmful and beneficial effects depending on the intensity and degree of exposure, he added.

"Actinic keratosis, which is the scaly swelling that appears on the face and around, on the hands, can turn into cancer, although it isn’t very common,” he explained.

“Here, blue light is also used as a treatment element, especially as it has been observed to help reduce the number of precancerous spots.”

Limit usage

Unay reiterated that excessive use of tech tools affects people both psychologically and physiologically.

To reduce the risks stemming from tech addiction, he suggested removing apps from phones that people do not use and turning off notifications from games and apps.

When people turn off apps, there is a big drop in their daily phone usage, he said.

“If we have difficulty controlling ourselves, we can also install apps that limit the usage time of apps on our phones,” he suggested.

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