As we have been taught for years, looking at a screen for too long has negative side effects on our health. Some of the effects of an abundance of screen time can lead to disrupted sleep patterns, low self-esteem, and in severe cases, screen addictions. I am definitely a perpetrator of phone and laptop overuse. For a while, I was not surprised to see 10 plus hours a day of screen time. Limiting screen time is difficult when wanting to check socials or watch television. Finding other productive outlets instead of mindlessly scrolling on my phone has changed my screen time tremendously. Here are a few of my best tips…
- Find a Juicy Book to Read
Social media is great because we gain instant gratification. We scroll on Instagram or TikTok and live vicariously through influencers, mutuals, and friends. Rather than investing in others on social media for hours on end, find a book with interesting characters and a story to feel invested in. I am not a bookworm, but finding a trashy young adult romance can keep me entertained for hours. Find a genre that interests you and read!
- Turn on a Podcast, not TV
I am a big multitasker, I love clicking on Youtube or TV while completing some work. When I have downtime, the television is also always on. Rather than turning on a show, find a Podcast of your interest to listen to. You are still technically using your phone, but not having to strain your eyes.
- Find a Productive Hobby based on your Favorite App
When viewing your screen time breakdown, see if there is an app you overuse. If you’re into fashion on Instagram, try thrifting. If you’re into games, try board or card games with friends. If you’re into Pinterest, try crafting. If you like writing on Twitter, try writing. These new hobbies will help you get your fix, without overusing your phone.
- Use the Screen Time Limit Settings
Go into your settings and set the time limits for specific apps. If you scroll on TikTok for two hours every day, try slowly limiting that time. Set your limit for one hour, and follow it. In settings, you can even set sleep settings that limit your screen use around bedtime.
- Better Yourself during Downtime
Often, if I have an hour between classes, I will lay down and mindlessly scroll for the hour. Instead of scrolling, find a quick activity you can complete during downtime. Try bettering yourself with activities like journaling, manifesting, positive affirmations, yoga, walking, or whatever makes you feel better. Over time, after all the mindfulness during downtime, you will feel more confident and strong.