Odessa, TEXAS (Big 2/Fox 24) – It’s easy to spend a lot of time looking at phones, computers, TVs, or other screens. Doctor Terry Beck from WesTex Urgent care says too much screen time can impact everybody.
” It can cause headaches, it can cause stress, and tension. A lot of people will feel that in their neck or shoulder or back. So definitely can affect adults. But it can impact people emotionally too,” says Doctor Beck.
Beck doesn’t point to any long-term physical problems from staring at screens a lot. However, the doctor tells us that more time on electronics and less human interaction can be tough to deal with, especially for children.
” I think it can definitely affect kids emotionally. They need to live interaction. They need to learn how to interact with people. I think adults and children, we’re used to texting-and text messages can be taken differently. It’s not always what you say, it’s how you say it. You may say something to a person on a text message, they can take it totally out of context. ”
Children need to be able to have social interaction, and physical activity. Doctor Beck says he thinks constant screen time can impact a child’s attitude or personality. With a lot of children learning virtually this year, and with some parents still working at home-it can be tough to cut down.
” If an adult, if that’s the way they’re making their living is sitting in front of a computer, it’s hard to say ‘you need to limit your screen time.’ I think we just need to be aware of how much time we’re spending because I mean time can fly by. My son has no concept of time when he’s on the computer. I mean literally, he thinks he’s been on the computer for 15 minutes-he’s been on there for 2 hours. I think every child is different. Some kids do well.”
Doctor Beck says if your family can cut down on your screen time-that’s the best option, but that’s not always realistic. The doctor recommends taking a break from screens every 15 to 30 minutes. Even if you have a lot of work or homework to do-looking away for just a few minutes can help.