How much time do you spend in front of a screen each day? If I asked you this question in person, would you give a truthful answer? Probably not. Maybe because you don’t realise just how much time you spend online, but more probably because you are embarrassed about the time you know you do spend looking at a screen. Everyone wants to be a good listener, focused on the real world, and no one wants to be reliant on technology – yet, many of us are.
Within this technological era our wellbeing is being afflicted by the number of hours we spend on screens. This handicap has come with the use of sophisticated tools that may seem to have changed our lives for the better in almost every area. In some examples, these tools have benefited our society, as in the case of the employment world with the use of new machines that have replaced humans’ hardest labours in factories. Also, in technological entertainment, devices such as slot machines have developed many positive changes through the years, based on culture, design and new game offers. But with the growth and development of other machines such as TVs, mobile phones, tablets and laptops, technology has reached a point where new devices and screens are starting to have a negative effect on our health.
With that in mind, here are a few methods to reduce the amount of time you spend staring into a screen:
One of the more obvious options in the list. It’s a simple solution: set clear limits and boundaries on the time you spend in front of a screen. Use your computer or phone, but with a purpose. If you have a limit, you will focus on what it is you need to do and won’t open Pandora’s Box, passing hours trawling through photos and videos.
Phone people rather than using WhatsApp etc
The fewer opportunities you give yourself to sit in front of a screen, the better. We spend more than enough time on our computers and smartphones. If you want to speak to people, then get them to call you or call them. It is easy, direct and probably more rewarding and you are less likely to end up getting side-tracked.
Down time before bed
This is similar to the time limit option. The idea is to enforce a curfew on screen time before bed. It’s all too easy to fall asleep in front of a film or series, or to spend the hour before sleeping checking social media or catching up on the news. Scientists say that there are serious health benefits to having a period of at least 45 minutes before sleeping without the stimulation of looking at a screen.
Turn off unnecessary notifications
Switch off any unnecessary notifications on devices, especially in times where you are outside of the workplace. If your phone is bleeping at you or crying like a siren trying to lure you back to it, then you are more likely to pick it up. Keep it silent and unobtrusive.
Don’t take your phone to the toilet
This is one of the funnier options on the list, but to be taken just as seriously as the others. As with bedtime, people tend to use their time sitting on the toilet as an opportunity to catch up with messages and social media. You can find yourself sitting on the toilet for half an hour longer than needed! To eradicate the temptation, leave your phone outside.
Take breaks from the computer
In the modern world a lot of jobs require screen time. Most people will find themselves sat in front of a computer for a time each day. It is impossible to change this as it isn’t generally up to you. But one thing you can do is to break up any continued stints by taking regular breaks for your eyes. Make sure you don’t fill this time by checking your mobile!
It is all about discipline and knowing what tempts you. Hopefully these suggestions can help you reduce your screen-time! Why not write yourself a target and make it happen.