As technology has evolved, so has our dependency on it. We now spend more time than ever on our electronic devices. There are a lot of benefits to these devices, of course, but there are also some downsides to constantly being connected.
Here’s why you should reduce your screen time!
If you’re like most people, you probably spend a little time watching TV or using your phone or tablet right before you go to sleep. It seems harmless enough to catch up on social media or check your email at bedtime, but it can actually make it much harder for you to get a good night’s sleep. The blue light that electronic devices emit can reduce your body’s melatonin, which makes it harder for you to fall asleep. They also stimulate your brain into staying alert when you should be resting. For a better night’s sleep, turn off your electronic devices an hour before you go to bed.
One of the biggest problems with spending too much time on your electronic devices is that physical activity gets pushed aside. Experts recommend doing around 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, and if you’re spending most of your time watching TV or surfing the web, getting enough exercise can be difficult. This is especially true because you generally sit while using electronic devices rather than getting up and moving around. Make physical activity a priority, and if you’re going to be online or watching TV, be sure to get up and walk around every hour or so.
Cell phones and social media can help you stay in touch with other people, but it can also reduce your ability to connect one-on-one. If you’re staring at your phone instead of interacting with the people around you, your relationships are going to suffer. When you’re spending time with people, keep your phone in your pocket. Don’t surf the web, don’t text, and don’t check Facebook or Instagram. Instead, be engaged and give the people you’re with your attention. Be fully in the moment rather than distracting yourself with your cell phone, and you’ll find your relationships improving.
Tips for Reducing Screen Time
- Fill your time. Rather than dwelling on what you might be missing when you’re not looking at your phone, fill that time with other activities. Read a book. Play games with your children. Do some yardwork. Try a new fitness class or take a walk around the neighborhood. You’ll quickly realize how much you enjoy disconnecting from your electronic devices!
- Make it a family goal. Reducing screen time won’t just benefit you; it will benefit your entire family. Set family goals to reduce time spent watching TV, playing video games, and surfing the web, and encourage your family members to keep their cell phones off when you’re spending time together.
- Find a healthy balance. You don’t have to give up screen time entirely—there are a lot of great things about cell phones and other electronics! The trick is finding a balance that allows you to enjoy the benefits of electronic devices without letting them keep you from being fully engaged in your life.
Reducing your screen time can have a great impact on your overall wellbeing. For more tips for improving your physical and emotional health, subscribe to the blog and check out our Facebook page!