Technology has become a huge part of our daily lives, increasing screen time more than ever. Screen time is not just limited to cell phones, but also includes tv, tablets, and your computer. For some people, most of their day is spent in front of a computer screen for work, and then for leisure, it is unfortunately also spent in front of a screen, usually their cell phone or TV screen. It has taken up a lot of time throughout the day, and if you sat down and counted the hours and minutes you spend in front of a screen, you would be shocked. Too much screen time has some negative outcomes, especially on your health.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids younger than 2 not have any screen time, and kids older than 2 have no more than 2 hours a day. The most important reason to cut down on screen time is that it does not promote a healthy lifestyle. Too much screen time only leads to being physically inactive, create anxiety, depression, and sleep issues. It can be hard to cut down on screen time after integrating it into your daily routine. Reducing screen time will allow you to become more active in hobbies, social activities, and improve your health and life. Here are some simple, yet effective ways to reduce your screen time.
People do not realize just how much they use their phones until they make a conscious effort to try and stop using it so much. Grabbing your phone while eating is probably very normal to you, whether to text back someone or view social media. Make it a rule to not have any technology accessible while you are at the dinner table. Not only will you enjoy your company more, but you will also enjoy your meal more.
This sounds harsh and unimaginable, but look at your phone right now and how many apps you have on it. I bet it is an overwhelming amount, and the worst of them are the social media ones. Those are the apps that take up a lot of your time, because you mindlessly turn them on when you are bored and begin to scroll. Next thing you know it has been half an hour of scrolling. That is time you could have gone for a run instead. So delete them! You can still access Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter on your browser if you need to.
Turn Off Notifications
When the notifications go off on your phone, it is enticing to grab it to see what it is, and then respond back to the email, text, Facebook comment/tag, or phone call. Turn off the notifications for your Facebook, texts, and emails (unless they are important work ones). Even if it is for only an hour or so, this way you can do things without interruption.
Do Not Disturb
Some phones, if not all have a “Do Not Disturb” mode. When you turn on this mode it will stop any notifications from going off, and waking you. When it is time to go to sleep at night, make it a ritual to turn on the Do Not Disturb
mode so you can get a full night’s sleep and feel well rested for the next day.
Cut Down On TV Time
This is especially important for when you are in bed. Watching TV in bed only increases your chances of binge watching a show because you are so comfy. When watching TV on the couch, you are more likely to limit yourself before you have to go to bed. An easy solution is to remove the TV in your room.
It is important to make a conscious effort of cutting down screen time, not only for your health, but for your family and kids health too. Children watch what their parents do and follow their steps. If your child sees you watching a lot of TV or on your computer or phone a lot, then they will want to do the same. Be a good example for them. Increase your quality of life, get out and learn new things, or exercise to replace the endless amount of useless screen time you give in to. Your mind and body will thank you.