Research is showing that the hours spent glued to our tiny white screens is leading to increased eyestrain - and poorer quality relationships.
Australian research shows that a 60-minute reading task on a smart phone results in increased eyestrain symptoms. And this is despite the fact that the vast majority of Australians rank loss of sight as their number one health concern, according to Optometry Australia.
But what if you were told your smart phone is harming your love life? Would you put down the phone for the sake of your relationship?
A US study found three quarters of women in long-term relationships claim they feel that smart phones are interfering with their relationship.
Sixty two per cent of women in long-term relationships who were surveyed also said technology interferes with their free time together.
On the other hand, increased eye contact has been shown to have significant benefits.
Relationships Australia explains that communication is much more than just talking. On their website they advise that to enhance communication you should set aside time to talk without distractions like phones, TV or computer games.
In a UK study, subjects who engaged in mutual gaze with a stranger for two minutes reported significantly increased feelings of passionate love.
This emotional viral video shows the effects just four minutes of eye contact can have on your relationship. (Warning: Any tears you may experience watching this may not be associated with eyestrain)
Australian research has shown that a 60-minute reading task on a smart phone results in increased eye train symptoms and readers are more likely to hold the smartphone closer at the end of the hour.
Tired, uncomfortable eyes and blurred vision are the most significant symptoms reported after the hour-long reading task.
Optometry Australia recommends keeping a distance from screens and taking regular breaks from your device. It also suggests sitting an arm’s length from the computer screen and not holding your tablet or smart phone too close.
“Also, look away from your screen and into the distance every 20 minutes for 20 seconds to allow eye muscles to relax, ” said a spokesperson.