Most parts of our day, in COVID-19 times, are spent sitting in front of screens; be it laptop, television or mobile phones. Unfortunately, apart from work, our leisure activities like video games, movies, etc. add up to our screen time.
The time we spend in front of our screen affects all people of all ages in similar ways. We are physically inactive at these times. Due to this, we tend to gain weight and become obese.
Moreover, excessive screen time can cause damage to our eyesight and also affect our mental health. Too much screen time can lead to sleep deprivation, shorter attention span, anxiety and depression.
Four years back “The Guardian” published an article. That article said that two women experienced “transient smartphone blindness” after seeing their phone screens in the dark. There is a connection that is found between social media use and rates of loneliness with phones being constantly “on”.
Though it is difficult to cut down on our screen time, there are ways to reduce it. Here are 10 simple methods that we can adopt to reduce our exposure to the screen:
1)Removing Television from Bedrooms
When televisions are placed in bedrooms, we tend to watch more of those engaging shows while being cosy in our bed. Trying to watch TV on a couch or sofa will make it easier to stop watching that addictive show.
2)Eating without a Screen
Most of us usually switch on the television or pick up our phone to check on the latest news or social media while having our meals. Avoiding the screen while eating can do wonders. It not only gives the eyes some time to rest, but also makes the food more enjoyable.
3)Checking on Pick-Up Rates
Keeping a tap on how often you pick up your phone can also help. When I conducted this exercise, I discovered that I picked up my phone approximately 40-45 times a day. I spent two to three minutes there that makes it approximately two and a half hours. Therefore, being more mindful of our pickups and reducing them each day can help in managing our screen time.
4)Finding Non-Screen Leisure Activities
Whenever we wish to kill some time or are free, we tend to move towards the screens. But we can find other alternatives such as reading books, learning something new like an instrument, sewing, or any other activity that interests you and enhances your skills.
5)Meeting Friends and Family Physically
Meeting our relatives virtually results in longer screen time. Whenever possible we should prefer meeting them physically rather than on our phone or computer screens.
6)Audio Calls over Video Calls
Having audio calls instead of video calls can also reduce exposure to the screen. The logic behind this is that when we are on a video call, we constantly look on the screen. But on an audio call, we just have to hear and not see the screen.
7)Keeping Phones out of the Bedroom
When we are in bed and our phones are right on our side tables, we tend to pick it up as soon as it beeps. At night we also use it to check out the time, which can be harmful to our vision. Therefore, we should keep our mobile phones out of the bedrooms.
8)Switching Off Unnecessary Screens
Having the television on for background sound is not a good idea as while walking through that room, it would attract us to sit and watch whatever is being shown on the television. Switching on the radio is a better option.
9)Turning Screen Time into Family Time
The time that we spend on our phones, checking Facebook and Instagram feeds, can be easily replaced with family time. We can have family discussions, play board games, solve puzzles and what not. The reduction of screen time will give us some more memorable moments with our family which we can cherish for our entire lifetime.
The most important thing is to persevere and keep on trying. Even if one fails to reduce their screen time on one day, determine to do it the next day. One will surely succeed.
Written By : Apoorva Goel
Edited By : Sheen Misra