Screen time can take a toll on our entire body both physically and mentally. However, it also has an impact on our eyes. As you stare at digital screens, you are being exposed to blue light. Our eyes do not easily filter blue light and that can cause our eyes to feel overworked and strained. Short term effects of digital eye strain can cause blurred vision, occasional dry eyes, and even headaches. Long term, the effects can be much more serious.
As a part of my series about 5 Ways To Create a Healthy Relationship With Screens and Technology, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alison Gers, VP of Marketing for Viteyes.com
As the vice president of marketing, Alison Gers is responsible for Viteyes global marketing and operation efforts as well as systems integrations and product research. Before joining Vitamin Health in 2006, Gers worked in advertising with brands including Kellogg’s and Whirlpool/KitchenAid. Gers earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your backstory?
Since 2006, I’ve helped develop and implement marketing and operation plans for Viteyes.com, an eye health supplement brand.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
Being in the health industry, I love hearing individual stories about how we’ve made a difference in helping maintain their vision. However, most recently, we were able to give locally to our police and firefighters, donating much-needed vitamins for those on the front line who risk their lives for us every single day.
Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?
I am currently working on growing the Viteyes Blue Light Defender supplement line. This line has more of a broad focus on kids and adults. As screen time has become more of a concern, especially more recently, it’s great to have a solution for people to help protect their eyes and relief any eye strain or fatigue from staring at the screens all day long.
Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Between work and personal life, the average adult spends nearly 11 hours looking at a screen per day. How does our increasing screen time affect our mental, physical, and emotional health?
Screen time can take a toll on our entire body both physically and mentally. However, it also has an impact on our eyes. As you stare at digital screens, you are being exposed to blue light. Our eyes do not easily filter blue light and that can cause our eyes to feel overworked and strained. Short term effects of digital eye strain can cause blurred vision, occasional dry eyes, and even headaches. Long term, the effects can be much more serious. That’s why we have developed Viteyes Blue Light Defender supplements to help protect our eyes from the harmful effects of blue light.
Can you share your top five ways people can improve mental wellness and create a healthy relationship with technology?
As they say about healthy eating habits “everything is okay in moderation” –and this can apply to technology as well. As much as we need technology to communicate, learn and socialize, we also need to add physical activity and mental breaks into our daily routines. That means putting down our devices daily to go on a walk, play with our kids, and talk with our significant others. For eye health and screen time, we tell people to follow the 20–20–20 rule when using digital devices — taking a 20-second break from the screen every 20 minutes and looking at something 20 feet away. That can help our eye muscles relax, limiting digital eye strain.
Between social media distractions, messaging apps, and the fact that Americans receive 45.9 push notifications each day, Americans check their phones 80 times per day. How can people, especially younger generations, create a healthier relationship with social media?
For many people checking their social media account has become an addiction. There are a few things they can do to help to limit their relationship with social media. One would be to turn off any notifications from social media on their phones, so they would have to open the app to actually see these updates. Next, finding hobbies that they can develop outside of screen time would be beneficial, such as playing sports, reading books, learning piano, or exercising. They could also try to limit the time of day of when they check social media, such as just in the evenings.
80% of smartphone users check their phones before they brush their teeth in the morning. What effect does starting the day this way have on people? Is there a better morning routine you suggest?
Checking your phone before you get out of bed in the morning can start your day off on a stressful note. I’d suggest starting the stay off with a clean slate — brushing your teeth, showering and eating breakfast before you check your phones. This gives you time to reflect and check in on your own well-being — prioritizing what you want to accomplish that day.
Can you please give us your favorite life lesson quote?
“Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.”
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
As screen time rises with children so does their exposure to harmful blue light. We have yet to see the long-term effects on vision for this digital generation of kids. We need continued education on the importance of eye health, including nutrition and eye supplements that many people may not be aware of — protecting our eyes and our children’s.
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