Because we live in a digital world, many people spend a good amount of their time plugged into their devices. While this has created a more connected and advanced world, it has also caused excessive screen time for most individuals. It is even estimated that the current generation will spend almost a third of their lives staring at one screen or the other. Many are trying to combat this by deliberately cutting down on their screen time. However, with so many of our daily activities depending on the digital world, this can seem like an uphill battle. Luckily, screen time can be cut in a few easy steps.
1. Create substitutions: One of the reasons why people spend so much time on their devices is because they have become a substitute for many everyday items such as alarm clocks, calendars, diaries and so on. In order to reduce the time spent on devices, it would be a good idea to make use of real-life items rather than your devices. Buy a physical alarm clock, diary, desk calendar and so on. Some even go a step further and delete the apps associated with these accessories in order to force themselves not to use them.
2. Create tech-free zones: Many people report spending the majority of their time using their devices even when at home. This is particularly prevalent with parents of young children who spend all their time on electronic devices in order to distract themselves. While we might need to be plugged in outside to keep up with our daily lives, we can reduce our screen time while indoors. One way to do this is to set up ‘tech-free zones’ within the house. These could be places such as the family room, kitchen and so on. Some people also choose to ban technology in their bedrooms or children’s rooms. This creates a haven of sorts in your home where you can connect as a family uninterrupted or simply enjoy time without needing to check your devices.
3. Create a cutoff time: Perhaps one of the things that make device usage so prevalent in modern culture is the fact that it has no defined cutoff time. While televisions and radios are usually turned off at a certain time, our phones and tablets are usually on all the time. If you wish to reduce your screen time, have a cutoff time for using your devices. This could be an hour or so before you go to sleep or after a certain hour of the day. This not only helps you cut down on your screen time but also forces you to make proper use of the limited time you have with your device.
4. Track your usage: Many devices have apps or built-in functions that track your screen time on a daily or weekly basis. Feel free to turn on this feature and track your periodic screen time. Week by week, aim to reduce your screen time and keep track of your progress.
While we live in a digital world, it is possible to go on a digital detox and connect better with the world around you. Follow the above steps to do so.