One of the greatest advances over the last twenty years has been in technology. We now have the whole world at our fingertips thanks to our smartphones and tablets, we're connected to friends and family no matter where we are. Our devices can do so many things, provide entertainment, assist us with our work, control our homes, and more. Yet there are also downsides to having such convenience at our fingertips.
On average we're spending over 10 hours a day with our screens when we combine all devices we use in the day, The reality is usually much more. By devoting so much of our day to the screen our health can begin to suffer without us realising it:
- Back, neck and posture problems from being hunched over devices
- Eye problems from bright screens
- Stress and anxiety from being constantly available and fear of missing out on information/updates
- Loss of fitness and weight gain from sitting down with devices at all times
Monitor and Reduce
To help us reduce our screentime we first need to monitor our usage. Fortunately our devices can already provide us with detailed analysis of how we're using them down to which apps and when. With iOS head over to the Screen Time App and with Android check out Google's Digital Wellbeing App.
Once you've got the data together, you can set daily limits on Apps to help you achieve your goals. Other ways to reduce screen time can be used while these Apps are in use:
- Find a hobby that takes you out of the house and active, and removes the temptation to use a device
- Make a date with friends or family without your phones, just enjoy the time and each other's company!
- Implement 'blackout' times where you switch off your devices
- Turn off devices at least an hour before bed and pick up a book to wind down before sleep
- Take regular breaks throughout the day when you have to use your devices to stretch and move
- Commit to not eating in front of your device, take time out to fully enjoy your meal away from the screen
Reducing your screen time will benefit you, your relationships and you quality of life, and you'll appreciate the things your device has to offer even more!