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!
- 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.
- 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!