House Calls

SPR 2018

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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h o u s e c a l l s { spring 2018 } 27 FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE If you're concerned with how much time you or your children spend on your phones—or what kind of content children are consuming while on their devices—download one of these apps: Moment (iOs; free for individual use; $14.99 for three months of Moment Family): Want a reality check? Download this app to see how many minutes you spend on your phone (and what percentage of your waking hours that totals), as well as how many times you pick it up per day (that stat can be a true shocker). With the family plan, you can set time-use limits for yourself and your children, as well. unGlue (iOs; free for time tracking; $7/month for premium, if paid annually; $9.99/month, if paid monthly): UnGlue lets parents set broad limits on kids' phone use (like an "Entertainment Time" cap for social media and video apps), but also gives kids ownership over their usage. For example, children can bank unused screen time (similar to saving money in the bank) and earn extra entertainment minutes by completing house chores. Bark (iOs and Android; $9/month): For a more hands-on approach to monitoring your children's digital lives, try Bark, which scans texts, emails, and social media accounts, and alerts parents to potentially concerning content, like a tweet that borders on cyberbullying or a text that includes a sign of depression. Circle by Disney (iOs and Android; $99 for Circle Home device; $4.99/month for Circle Go): Between Circle Home and Circle Go, this program gives parents an in-depth look at how much time family members are spending on each and every app, as well as other devices throughout the house (think iPads, the desktop computer, etc.). You're able to set bedtimes for each device, block certain websites and apps from children, and push pause on your home's Wi-Fi. social media use to depression, jealousy, lower self-esteem, distorted expectations, and loneliness. Dr. Gill explains that a "grass is greener" effect often occurs when we're habitually exposed to carefully edited versions of other people's lives. And when we come to depend more on digital socializing than experiential activities, we miss out on quality interactions with family and friends. "The level of intimacy in our relationships and the ability to carry on in person conversations can easily be devalued," says Dr. Gill. "We've become so accustomed to quick entertainment that tolerating boredom is becoming a skill of the past." Too much gaming and smartphoning can also bring about orthopedic problems like "text neck" (poor posture that creates wear and tear on the spine), "gamer's thumb" (inflammation of the digit's tendons), "Wii elbow" (strain on the joint), and "text claw" (cramping in the fingers, wrist, and forearm). It's enough to make your head spin, which, as it turns out, is yet another effect of excessive screen time. "Users who have been scrolling on their phones for several hours may experience headaches, dizziness, and eye strain from a sort of motion sickness called cyber sickness," notes "Users who have been scrolling on their phones for several hours may experience headaches, dizziness, and eye strain from a sort of motion sickness called cyber sickness." —DR. SOUZAN ABDEL-SAMIE

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