Monthly Archives: April 2020

  • Just how bad is excess screen time?

    Now, more than ever before, we are all facing the battle (and the privilege) of the tech. Confined to our home, many of us with reduced workload, furloughed or redundant completely, what exactly can we do all day? Cooking, cleaning, baking, home school, work outs, gardening, organising – if we’re totally honest, even most of these activities will drive us online whether it be to find a recipe, do a shop, access YouTube PTs or get tips to improve our home.

    So do we still need to have a such a hang up about screen time, even right now? Maybe it’s time we made some peace with the fact that we are all going to spend a huge amount of time online, from the kids doing homework on Google classroom to the grandparents who video call the family.

    What’s bad about excess screen time?

    There are a few known issues that are caused by spending too much time on devices or computers. Let’s take a look at them:

    Disturbed sleep – if screens are looked at right before going to bed, the blue backlight which is emitted can interrupt circadian rhythm (the natural sleep cycle) in the body. This means it becomes harder to fall, and stay, asleep.  Choosing the right monitor can help with this as some have reduced blue light emissions and flicker free technology such as this Asus one.

    Asus 21.5" monitor

    Cyber bullying – too much time on socially active media can lead to bullying from either friends or even strangers. It is easier to be ‘braver’ online which can lead to actions that would never otherwise occur.

    Weight gain and physical pain – being online usually means remaining sedentary which can lead to weight gain and the related health problems of this and general inactivity. There can also be issues caused in the back or in wrists and hands by sitting in the wrong position or overdoing the same activity and getting RSI. Browse our full range of accessories to find more ergonomic solutions to suit you.

    Behavioural problems – over exposure to excessive violence, fast moving games and other screen-related issues can reduce attention span in children in particular. It can also cause them to act differently in social environments, be more physically violent themselves and can even hinder academic performance.

    Reading this will no doubt have you binning all the screens in your home but is that really necessary?

    How to overcome the issues caused by excess screen time

    Right now, it’s not exactly feasible to suggest children or adults don’t spend much time online. So how do you ensure your family’s health and mental well-being aren’t compromised? Here are some top tips:

    1. Motion pictures

    Being online doesn’t mean staying still these days. Get your laptop onto YouTube and make the most of the incredible free work outs being conducted by qualified personal trainers everywhere. There are daily PE work outs for those who want to get fit and yoga and Pilates for those who want increased mobility. There is no excuse for inactivity when you have a screen and an internet connection. Why not choose a larger-than-usual monitor so you can see your instructor better too, such as this 27" one?

    Asus 27 inch monitor

    1. Use the force for good rather than evil

    If screen time only equates to playing games that will warp the brain then yes, you have a problem. But what else is out there? There is so much to do online you can literally be spoilt for choice. Lessons to teach you about anything you’ve ever had a passing interest in, craft workshops, podcasts to teach you about meditation and mental well-being, cook along tutorials to guide you into being the next Masterchef, websites on what to plant and when and so much more besides. And if you’re looking for a cost-effective machine, check out our refurbished gaming PCs or refurbished desktops that give you more bang for your buck.

    1. Connecting together

    In an unprecedented time where we could feel completely isolated and disparate from friends and family, we can actually interact better than ever before. There are apps for group chats and quizzes, social media channels to see what your loved ones are up to, games that allow you to play with friends and meet new ones, digital dating experiences to meet your next love and even the government are posting their recommendations and advice to help protect lives. There’s a general sense of community running throughout everything that has never been seen in most of our lifetimes and one that is making the online world a happier place.

    If abused or used incorrectly, excess screen time can most certainly be a bad thing. But right now, in these strange times, we should all be thankful for the technology we have access to for what it can do for us. It can educate, integrate and activate us all to not only do more with our time but generally become better people too. Use it wisely and your tech will enrich your life.

  • Choosing the right tech for you

    When it comes to buying technology, you want to make sure you pick something that’s right for you. There are a few reasons for this, the main ones being that it costs a significant chunk of money and you are likely to spend a lot of time using it once you’ve bought it.

    Now that you are likely to be spending more time than usual at home, if you’re considering buying yourself something new to play with, you might be after a few pointers as to what to get. So we’ve put together some information and tips about what’s available to help you decide.

    Laptops

    The key benefit of these is really easy – they are portable. That in itself makes them desirable given modern lifestyles, the current climate excepted. Don’t be fooled at the moment by thinking a desktop might suit your needs better as you are at home more – consider how your life usually is and make your decision based on that. Right now, we are living a new normal which won’t continue forever so we need to make sure our investments will suit is in the long term too.

    Dependent on what you plan on using your laptop for they have other benefits too. If you aren’t especially tech-savvy, they are usually the easiest to start using as they arrive already set up. They are great for normal usage, internet browsing and some game playing too. However, if you want to play more involved games that require graphics cards etc, the price starts to increase. There is only so much space available in a laptop so the extra processors and storage required will struggle.

    Desktop

    Power is cheaper in a desktop so if you need it, then one of these might be your best bet. And if you are planning on gaming on it for long periods of time, it might be better to set yourself up with a gaming station in full with extra monitors etc too. The initial outlay of a desktop can seem higher but in fact, they are easier to upgrade in the future rather than having to replace the whole machine so can work out more cost effective. Desktops can also be far easy to repair thanks to their accessibility so if anything goes wrong, at least the issues won’t be quite as painful to remedy.

    Pros of new tech

    Who doesn’t like to be the first careful owner of something? Who doesn’t like choosing then buying exactly what they want? Getting something brand new is great not just in terms of the personal satisfaction but also the peace of mind knowing that in the event of any problems, you can return it to where you bought it and that it is also covered by a warranty. If you are someone who likes to replace their kit regularly, having all the original packaging and keeping it all in good order means you’ll be able to resell it for the maximum second hand price further down the line too. This is relevant for peripherals such as monitors too. Buying a high quality one such as this Asus Flicker Free 21.5”.Asus 21.5" monitor

    Pros of refurbished tech

    There are many fantastic reasons to choose refurbished instead of new. We have picked some of the top ones here:

    1. Cost – you can often get more bang for your buck with a refurbished machine, meaning you get a better spec for the same price as a brand new one. Take a look at this fantastic and fully customisable Dell OptiPlex 7020 from just £170.
      Dell OptiPlex 7020
    2. Functionality – you don’t need to worry that your machine will have limited functionality or might break when buying refurbished from a reputable retailer. They will be fully tested before being resold and any necessary amends made. They also come with a warranty if bought from the right place to put your mind at rest completely so game in confidence with a machine such as this Cheap Core i5 4th Gen Gaming PC 
      Cheap Core i5 4th Gen
    3. Age – refurbished doesn’t always mean that it has been used a lot in a past life. It can actually mean an ex-display machine that has barely been touched, so really, you’re getting pretty much brand new for a reduced price

    When choosing your next piece of tech, it’s very important you get the right one for you whether that be desktop or laptop, brand new or refurbished. At Expertec, we have specialists on hand to chat to you whenever you’re ready so just message us or call us and we’ll be happy to help.

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