Is Digital media the future of all media?
Digital media is at the forefront of technological development, technology surrounding it is beginning to achieve things we wouldn’t have thought possible. Most of us are staring at screens for a large chunk of the day, especially those who work with computers. Adding up all that time spent staring at screens is quite shocking, "the average person in the UK spends more than a day a week online" (Source: Telecoms and networks/Ofcom Technology Tracker). The day to day strain on your eyes is damaging, but is it as bad as they make it out to be?
Is it bad?
There isn’t a dedicated scientific answer behind the effects of screen time.
In a popular and often cited Oxford study done by Amy Orben and Andrew Przybylski amounts to a “King-sized meta-analysis” of other studies. In which, many of the studies refer to the blue light that affects our eyes. To put it as briefly as possible, on the light spectrum, Rays on the red end have longer wavelengths and less energy but blue rays have shorter wavelengths and therefore they have more energy. The shortest (and highest energy) blue light rays are just before the invisible electromagnetic rays, also known as ultraviolet (UV) radiation, on the light spectrum.
This UV light can have both good and bad effects. Too much UV light on your skin can cause sunburn and even worse, can lead to skin cancer. But in moderation it also has beneficial effects, such as helping the body manufacture adequate amounts of vitamin D. On our eyes it can help boost alertness, memory, mood and cognitive functions but studies suggest that continuous exposure to blue light over time can cause strained, dry eyes, blurred vision and headaches but could damage retinal cells. Retina damage can cause degradation of vision, eye health problems and in extreme cases, blindness.
What can I do to reduce these effects?
Experts believe that there should be limits but they are hesitant to place set hours or guidelines because a lot of people rely on these tools for day to day use at work and limiting this can be difficult. However they have recommended a “statistical safe zone” of one to two hours. But again that’s hard to follow if your job requires you to look at screens.
There are some healthy habits to follow to reduce screen time in your lives. Things such as:
Eating dinner with no screens - This can improve human connections between each other, this can increase bonding, human interaction and empathy.
Take walks without headphones - Just going for a walk to increase your exposure to greenery, nature and sunlight. It’s also a great way to practice mindfulness, to just think about your day and be one with your thoughts.
Avoid keeping your phone by your bed - This can help you have a screen free sleep and wake up naturally. Try getting yourself ready for the day without checking your phone, especially if you’re going to be looking at screens all day.
Using screen filters and dimming the brightness - Every phone now has its own screen dimming function or some even have black and white reading modes. These do in fact help reduce that blue-light exposure especially when in darker environments. This in turn reduces strain and headaches when using your mobile device for long periods of time.
What can you do to reduce screen time effects?
As computers are on the rise, awareness and knowledge is key as Digital media gets bigger. After analysing plenty of other articles covering this and summaries from studies. The overall recommendation would be to stick to your priorities, think about what you want/need to do in your day. If technology is stopping you from achieving that, then it’s time to consider if it’s a problem.
The Rise of Print Media.
As commercial print is slowly declining and all the big news agencies move to digital media, there is a worldwide trend towards short form video content being the most popular media to provide information, you see them all over Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. We are at a time in the Information age where funnily enough, we don’t have enough time. We focus on short, compacted snippets of information rather than read an entire post. (Ironic, coming from this). However in an era where fake news is prevalent, consumer trust has become a highly valuable commodity. Is this why advertising print media is a business that is thriving?
In a survey (2018) from Two Sides, a trade body for members from the graphic communications supply chain, showed that 63% of readers prefer to read printed media when they are seeking more understanding of a news story. On top of this, the latest Edelman trust barometer confirms that print media has experienced a sharp rebound in public confidence. Print media being something more tangible they can interact with, take with them, and go back to at their own leisure. Business publications can reach highly targeted new audiences, with a well structured, evergreen piece of print media can stick around a lot longer than a social media post.
Considering getting your print media out there?
Be it brochure, pamphlet, magazine, newspaper or hand out. If you are considering print and hoping to start on good footing or you wish to refresh your current print media, at Luminati we can tailor your perfect media stand and we stock a wide range of standard products that can fit in almost any environment. Head to our website to browse our full range of Media & Brochure Stands.