Glow in the dark
My high school classmate and I closed the curtains.
We turned off the ceiling lights and laid ourselves flat on the floor as darkness and silence enveloped us.
We gasped as we contemplated a stellar sight above us! Planets, stars, comets, astronauts, satellites and Snoopy!
Snoopy in space? Nope, just one more glow-in-the-dark sticker pasted on the ceiling.
But it was an unforgettable experience!
Today, I imagine that young people will not be as thrilled by the same cold static plastic glow-in-the-dark stickers we mounted.
Besides, who wants to go through such a tedious bit when you can have your own glow in the dark wherever you are.
These new glow-in-the-dark toys are their smartphones, tablets and laptops. And do they alarmingly glow!
Our gadgets are amazing tools that can help us work better, rest in many forms more than one.
But they are also gradually transforming our nights into day, that is, gadget use has reached alarming levels that are now depriving –both young and old– of an essential ingredient for their health and sanity: sleep.
Studies are revealing the young, especially those between 16-19 of age, are sleeping less hours every day. Girls seem to spend half the number of hours on gadgets than boys who average around six and a half hours daily.
This “zombic pattern” among the young, not to mention unwanted side-effects on the eyes, takes a heavy toll on their body clock.
Thus, one observes “a decrease in memory, a decline in grades” as sleep and energy expert Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan revealed in an interview with BBC.
But there’s a more sinister glow to this lifestyle: depression.
Do we perhaps wonder why there is an increasing pattern of young people committing suicide? Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” gives us some hard reasons why some young people feel life isn’t worth living.
But if the young aren’t able to cope with certain life trials, could it be due to disruptions in their body’s internal clock causing mood disorders that in turn make it hard for them to think straight, seek help and resolve their issues.
In a study of 91,000 people, Lancet Psychiatry  found a correlation between a malfunctioning body clock (due to lack of sleep) with depression, bipolar disorder and other illnesses.
The study may not have looked into smartphone use, but the researchers believe that many of those who had problems might be engaged in social media at night.
If this sleepless cycle is not addressed early enough among youth, it may be harder to lead them out of the labyrinth of their inner webbings because they are already blinded by this nocturnal glow.
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