Aside from all the other benefits from art therapy, especially one’s that have nostalgic value, it’s great for another reason: it takes your eyes off a screen!
Even though the ability to contact someone wherever they are in the world at whatever time is super convenient, being connected 24/7 to our devices is exhausting and stressful. Recovery from your hard days at uni/work/both is important and having a phone in your hand every minute until you fall asleep doesn’t give you a chance to unwind. Giving your brain a chance to relax and process the day is important for you to prepare for the next day and helps you not have a breakdown or stress overload. “When people are really under stress their psychological and physical resources are drained” (http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2013/02/06/feeling-disconnected-5-reasons-to-unplug-from-technology-after-work/)
If you’re drained, you might not have the effort for thing you enjoy and you might be more irritable, depreciating your relationships.
Other than the tiring nature of constant communication and notifications, looking at a screen for extended periods of time is physiologically bad for your brain. Studies show that “internet addiction is associated with structural and functional changes in brain regions involving emotional processing, executive attention, decision making and cognitive control” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-wealth/201402/gray-matters-too-much-screen-time-damages-the-brain). So you don’t think you’re quite addicted to your screen, but you spend approx. 3 hours a day looking at one? What about regular exposure? Findings from this report show that constantly looking at screens can damage areas of the brain associated with empathy and compassion, which can result in violent behaviour and lack of quality in personal relationships. Other side effects can include: impairment of cognitive tasks (very important for uni), poor task performance, reduced dopamine receptors and transporters (reward processing and addiction implications). All these areas of the brain that are affected undergo highly important changes in puberty to mid-twenties.
So what should you do about it?
Make boundaries for yourself! Start by allocating an hour or two where you leave your phone in the other room on silent and do something else with your hands – there’s a few suggestions on this blog!
Setting these boundaries will not only make you a happier and more relaxed person – your uni and work standards will improve as you’ll be more motivated and recharged. Plus, those side effects don’t sound too good!!
For more info on the study see: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-wealth/201402/gray-matters-too-much-screen-time-damages-the-brain