The ubiquitous character of New Information and Communication Technology, NICT, has greatly increased the amount of health information available to the general public. With unlimited information on the internet, currently at the disposal of the public, denizens tend to rely more on the internet for various kinds of information needs, ranging from religion, education, weather, communication and health.
While emails and general information searches remain the most common use of the internet, using internet to obtain health information is very popular with millions, using the facility and a considerable segment of the population explicitly using it for health purpose, it is important to assess how this particular use of the internet is affecting people’s wellbeing, especially their physical and mental devices.
According to Dr. Nkelle Johnson medical practitioner in Kumba, traditionally, physicians held and filtered health information for the general public. Given the availability of health information online, people can now bypass medical professionals entirely and find information, advice, support and even treatment. But he says the overuse of internet related information for health does not only cause depression to patients who can’t find help but causes new illnesses to both the sick and those addicted to its use because of the tightness with the screen.
Firstly, frequent search on the nets keeps one glued to the screen and this causes brain restructures. According to this doctor, one of the most fundamental consequences that a large amount of screen time has on adults is restructuring of the matter that your brain possesses. It is a psychological condition based around severely excessive use of electronic devices. Too much screen usage results to poor cognitive performance and also problems with white matter ability to communicate.
Apart from the headache, internet addiction causes tubes vulnerable to eye strain. Light from the screen does not only keep one awake, but also damages the retina and blurs vision. To help solve this, medics recommend that after every 20 minutes of starring at screen, look at an object 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. Plus use a dimmer switch.
Health experts further hold that devices have cathode ray tubes. Monitor gives out X-Ray radiation that can affect one’s health. This radiation can cause cancer, tumour, insomnia, and headache. But note that one can avoid exposing oneself to this radiation by staying long distances away from the screen or limiting the amount of time spent.
With the rounding up of holiday classes that have kept students busy for some two months now, their next best companion for holiday becomes their mobile phones, computers, tabloids. Parents are, therefore, called upon to educate children on the effects of too much screen time to their health and also to regulate the use of the internet among them.
By Ngende Esther Boh