A Balanced Approach to Wellness

Archive for the ‘Addiction to screens’ Category

Screen! My beloved screen!

 Post 122-screen love affair

If people looked at a garden as much as they look at their computer screen, they would be more alive. If people looked at the faces of other people as much as they look at the faces on their screen, they would be more enriched. If people looked at their living environment as much as they look at their screens, they would be more active.

The time spent with the smartphone screen, computer screen, TV screen, tablet screen is time spent. Sometimes wisely, sometimes not. Time that cannot be returned, that cannot be spent on more sustaining activities.

How to break free of the screen love affair!

For adults

  • Don’t turn on any screens in the morning, unless you need them for work, in which case, only turn on a screen right before you are going to use it (for work).
  • Turn off all screens two hours (or more) before bedtime.
  • In the middle of the day, do the same as above. Turn off screens unless you are using them for work. On your smartphone, close all unnecessary apps, especially the distracting ones. Set a time in the day for Facebook-type activities and don’t stay on longer than that set amount. Set a time in the day for handling social emails. Abandon computer and app games—they are time obliteraters. Set a time in the day for looking at online information that is important to you (like this blog 🙂 ) and stick to the schedule. Examine the online information you look at that is not sustaining and work towards reducing the time you spend viewing the non-sustaining information. If you use any type of reminder system, use it to remind yourself about these screen changes.

For children

  • If your child is under the age of 13 (12 and under, toddlers are not being discussed), you—the parent—have the authority to limit their screen time. Be authoritative and set limits that are realistic. A child who is under the age of 13 should not be viewing a screen for more than two hours in a day. Don’t use screens as a way to keep your child quiet. If you need your child to be quiet, be more creative in your solutions. Also, follow the guidelines above and be a good example.
  • If your child is 13 or older, you do have the authority to limit screen time, but the weight of your words is less. The best you can do is follow the guidelines above and be a good example and provide interesting alternatives to screen time: family hikes, family puzzle building, family bike rides, etc.

People don’t realize the extent to which screens are devouring their lives. If you can make the changes suggested above, you will enable more balance in your life. Best wishes for successful declawing of your screens!

Addicted to screens? The first step is to acknowledge it.

Post 121 Addiction to screens

(Rather than use the term LCD addiction, I’ll use a term that is becoming known—screen addiction.)

I do EGC work with a woman who suffers from screen addiction, but she is too embarrassed to admit it. She goes to sleep after she has checked her email, Facebook, website, and app score. When she awakens, she checks them all again. She eats breakfast with one hand handling her food and the other hand handling her smartphone. Before leaving the house for work, she spends an hour on her computer. During her breaks, she’s on her smartphone—not talking, but playing her favorite game. After work and running a few errands, she’s home watching TV, a movie on her computer, or playing her favorite computer game. And so her days go. She does get together with friends occasionally and does participate in an exercise class once a week, but even then, her mind often darts to the phone in her purse.

She thinks issues such as lack of challenge at work and lack of focus are her main issues, but they are not. Her main issue is lack of connection: too little connection with other people face to face, too little connection with nature and nature’s creatures, too little connection with her own capabilities and talents, and too little connection with seeking sustenance through intertwined endeavors (intertwined endeavors means participating in activities that elevate oneself spiritually and self-ly—a topic for another post).

Her addiction to screens is preventing her from connecting, and she doesn’t realize that the answer to her issues and to balance in her life start with turning away from the screens. Less time  companioning with technology.

If you realize that you spend too much time looking at and interacting with a screen (other than for work purposes), acknowledge this fact. That’s the first step. The second step is different for each person, but regardless, movement away from screen addiction is possible. Focusing on connections is the best way to overcome addictive behaviors.

“Connection is the key to good health:  connection to other people, connection to one’s environment, connection to environmental conditions, connection to other creatures, connection to oneself, and connection to spiritual presence. These connections bring all aspects of elevated, balanced, and purposeful living into a person’s reality. These connections are key for all people; no one is exempt.”

…from The Gift of Intuitive, Dedicated Comfort

Kids and LCD addiction

 

Post 120-lcd addiction

In my EGC sessions with children (ages 10-13), I am seeing children addicted to their *LCD. I also see adults who spend way too much time on their computers and/or smartphones, but they are not being affected the same way as the children are.

I want to start with the boys, because they are the most worrisome to me.  Children are supposed to have eyes that sparkle, and as they age the sparkle usually diminishes. I am seeing boys with hollow eyes that do not sparkle. The reason—because if they are not in the middle of a computer/app game, they are thinking about being in the middle of the computer/app game. Their minds are not present and their vision has gone elsewhere. Of course they can’t focus on schoolwork or teachers’ lessons; the game/app has taken over their attention. The only things that break this LCD focus are physical activity, making music (not just listening to it) and art, but most boys aren’t getting enough of these things.

As for girls, some girls get the hollow eyes affliction, but most have a different affliction—the eyes and neck affliction. Their eyes are constantly darting to check their communication programs and their necks are held incorrectly as they type and check messages. Strains the eyes and stresses the neck muscles. Boys can also have the eye and neck affliction.

Boys and girls should be socializing more in person and less through LCD screens. They should be moving and creating and moving more and experiencing life through all their senses.

Parents need to be aware that keeping their young children quiet through play on computers and smartphones can lead to problems when the children are a bit older. The children get LCD addicted, and it is hard to break the addiction.

* LCD is the abbreviation for liquid-crystal display. It is a flat panel display used on computer monitors, televisions, laptop and tablet screens, smartphones and mobile phones. (LCDs are also used on watches, clocks, instrument panels, and many other devices, but this post is not about these uses.)

Relief from LCD addiction

Post 119-LCD addiction

My friend tells me her 11-year-old son is addicted to his smartphone. I work with children who are addicted to their smartphones, computers, apps, computer games, etc. I know adults who are addicted as well. I am sort of addicted to my computer; I’ll admit it. I sit at the computer to receive words of wisdom from Spiritual Presence, and instead I check my Facebook page, my email, my blog stats, and so on.

I’m turning to Spiritual Presence now to ask what can be done. What can be done about the LCD addiction (the term that will be used to represent addictions to computers, smartphones, etc.)? (Reading an e-book doesn’t count in the LCD addiction definition.) Here is the information I am receiving:

  1. The more time people spend in nature, the less time they will spend with the LCD.
  2. The more time people spend taking part in face-to-face interactions, the less time they will spend with the LCD.
  3. The more time people spend with animals, the less time they will spend with the LCD.
  4. The more that is done for other nonhuman aspects of the world, the more the focus will be off the LCD.
  5. The personal involvement in creative endeavors lessens the grip of the LCD. Creative endeavors includes making music, participating in athletic games, dancing in groups, bringing about artistic creations, actualizing family/friend gatherings, participating in traditional rituals—the list goes on and on. Creating materials to be viewed on the LCD do not count.

What to do:

  1. Plan more outings in nature.
  2. Get together with family and friends in person.
  3. Go to the zoo (if it is a humane zoo) or a petting zoo.
  4. Plant plants.
  5. Find a cause that inspires you and volunteer to help it.
  6. Participate in a group activity that invigorates you.
  7. Find puzzles you like and put them together. If you don’t like puzzles, then learn how to cook an ethnic food that you like (that it not from your ethnicity).
  8. Go for a walk and pick up trash in your neighborhood.
  9. Help, whenever you can.
  10. If you have children, include them in all these things.

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