Stop and Smell the Roses: Reduce Your Screen Time

Stop and Smell the Roses: Reduce Your Screen Time

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Stop and Smell the Roses: Reduce Your Screen Time

Ah, the age-old debate: is technology a boon or a bane to our existence? While the internet has provided an incredibly powerful platform for connection, creation, and collaboration, it has also been a breeding ground for distraction and obsession. A 2016 study showed that the average person spends approximately 10 hours a day staring at a screen. RescueTime surveyed 11,000  of their active users and found that we pick up our phones about 58 times a day. Of course, screen time isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. However, extended screen time replacing meaningful human interaction can become a huge problem, particularly for young people on the internet. So how do we fix the problem? In our ongoing bid to help you achieve your New Year goals, here are some ways in which you can reduce your screen time: 


  • Monitor Your Screen Time: The first step to solving a problem is being aware of it, and assessing the extent of damage done. While most of us are likely to believe that we are in control of our internet usage, it would first be worth checking how many hours on average you spend on your phone per day. Apple phones have a ScreenTime function in the Settings App which can allow you to monitor your phone usage. Besides that there are several apps like RescueTime which help you self-monitor. 
  • Don’t Use Your Phone Before Bed: A 2017 survey found that, “social media use in the 30 minutes before bed is independently associated with disturbed sleep among young adults”. Blue light exposure can have serious long-term effects on your sleep. So keep your phone away from you before bed. If you are used to using your phone as an alarm, try switching to an analog alarm clock. 
  • Remove Unnecessary Application: As phone technology gets better, storage space increases, making you believe that every app advertised to you is worth downloading. But this will only tempt you to pick up your phone more often. Remove apps that aren’t necessary. For example, choose only one of two competitors for the same type of product or service. If you already have Hulu on your phone, then you probably don’t need Netflix too. 
  • Establish Tech-free Zones in Your House: Bathrooms, dining rooms, and cars should ideally be free of any gadgets and gizmos that may tempt you to increase your screen time. 
  • Don’t Always Take Pictures: Thanks to great technology, taking pictures has become easier than ever before. But a major consequence of this is being compelled to photograph or film everything we’re seeing in real-time. This impulse has been proven to interfere with our memory making abilities by several psychology studies. So try to take in the view instead of reaching for your phone. 
  • Find a Tech-Free Hobby: Life has become so fast-paced that any time we have a moment to ourselves, we reach for a quick and easy form of entertainment: our screens. Replace mindless browsing with a screen-free hobby of your choice. This can help combat your addiction and give you a better sense of purpose. 

  • Getting offline is one of the most common New Year's resolutions. However, it is incredibly tricky to put into practice, as pandemic life has forced much of our interactions online. Try your best to engage with the people around you, and make the most of what the world has to offer.


    References: 


    1. Rampton, John [2020]. 10 Strategies for Reducing Your Screen Time  

    Calendar Productivity Center 

    1. MacKay, Jory [2019]. Screen time stats 2019: Here’s how much you use your phone during the workday

    RescueTime 

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