We sure do spend a lot of time in front of our screens. On average, studies tell us that adults spend around 11 hours a day in front of their screens, which consists of work, social media and general entertainment.
Whilst we may not realise the impact this is having on us, too much screen time has been linked to poor mobility, sleep problems and mental health problems.
It’s not about giving up screen time, but more about how we can manage our screen time. To get us going, below is a list of five creative solutions that will help us reduce our screen time.
Anything that is measured can be managed, Keeping this in mind, tracking your screen time can influence your behaviour with how much time you spend surfing, working and watching on a screen. If necessary, use your smartphone’s built-in screen time functions to measure your usage and be sure to set reminders for breaks. On iPhones, you can simply turn on the Screen Time function in the Settings app, whilst on Android, you can do this through the Digital Wellbeing tools located in the Settings.
This brings us perfectly to our next tip which focuses on the importance of taking breaks from your screen time. It may sound crazy to someone from 30 years ago that a day would come in which we had to take breaks from our screens, yet it is the reality. The advice is to take a break from any screen every thirty minutes at least, at which time you can stretch, do a few household chores or simply have a face-to-face conversation with a family member.
No Screen Time Whilst Eating
There should be at least one meal a day where the family eat together. Sitting down with the family for dinner whilst conversing with one another may sound slightly foreign to us now, yet it holds so much value and importance for family dynamics. Eating naturally relaxes us and when the family get together to do this, it allows them to open up and build a stronger relationship. Switch the TV off whilst eating dinner and ensure that smartphones are put away whilst the family is sat together.
Keep Phone at a Distance at Bedtime
It’s well known that the light that emits from your phone can cause interruptions in your sleep and as a result, will cause headaches and migraines the next morning. The normal advice is to keep TVs out of bedrooms, but if you want to go a step further, place your phone some distance away when getting into bed. That way, you won’t be tempted to look at holiday ideas or do some impulse shopping whilst in bed. By keeping your phone at a distance, you are helping yourself by preventing the blue light from affecting the quality of your sleep. And for those of you that use your phone for alarm purposes, consider going back in time and getting an alarm clock.
Start Reading Books (again)
It is quite scary how we as humans are losing the ability to search for stuff. Instead of researching and reading, the internet has made it very easy to find stuff in an instant. Not that this is a bad thing. In fact, I think it’s great that we can save time when searching for things and now you can also check many things in real time. The point I am trying to make is that it may be refreshing for our minds and bodies to read books and appreciate the time authors have invested in producing something so invaluable.
Exercise is a surefire way of making our minds and bodies feel better, refreshed and in control. Try it out! Exercise for 30 minutes by running, jogging or simply doing yoga and see how you feel. When you exercise, your mind and body are so busy focusing on physical movement that you’ll find you have no time to look at your phone. Find something you’re excited about and try mastering it this year. Maybe you can create a group within your community through which you and your group can exercise together.
Juber Ahmed is our Digital Editor and travel enthusiast with a keen interest in Islamic history and heritage. He travels with his wife to various places around the world and writes about his experiences.
Juber's favourite Quote...
"The World Is a Book and Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page" [Saint Augustine]