With jobs requiring hours in front of the screens and remaining time around upskilling, online learning, or the next season of your favourite web series, are we side-lining that adults also need to limit their screen time?
Kids learn from what we do, and before we keep ranting about how they're always on their devices, it is time that we look into our schedules and cut the screen consumption.
Excess screen time is problematic for kids and adults alike. It results in various health problems like poor sleep, eye strain, muscle aches, sedentary behaviour, and, worst cases, addiction. Establishing healthy relationships with screen consumption is necessary for people of all ages to use it for one's good and not be consumed by it. Experts advise that outside work-related activities should limit screen time to less than two hours per day.
So, how do we scale back the screen consumption?
Here are a few tips for adult learners to limit their screen time.
Switch Off The Notifications
Limiting access to screens starts with removing the unnecessary attention we give to them. We often spend hours on screens just from the sound of notifications pop-up, so the first step to reducing screen consumption is to switch off the notifications. Segregate the apps and tools that do not need your urgent acknowledgement, like social media and eCommerce, and switch off their notifications. You can keep the notifications on for tools that need your immediate attention, like banking apps, communication tools, and other similar tools.
Establishing time limits is essential. This is not just for your mobile phone but also includes your work, television, and other screen exposure. A few ways to set limits are to set limits to the social media apps; for instance, you can set a 10-minute window on Instagram to ensure you don't do mindless scrolling. Apart from work, reduce screen consumption by dividing your time for each tool/app. Analyse where you spend most of your time when using screens, and be mindful of the tools and apps you're spending time with. For adult learners involved in online learning, ensure that you fix a bedtime where you don't use your phone, laptop, or any other screen at least an hour before you go to sleep. Screen exposure before bedtime intervenes with sleep quality that can adversely affect your health. So, you mustn't use the screen before going to bed.
Keep Track Of Your Screen Time
The pandemic introduced us to work from home culture. The social restrictions, not going out, and other limitations led to increased screen consumption. There were valid reasons for this increase as social contact was entirely virtual, and after a point, the screen became the next best companion to everyone. However, with things returning to how they used to be, it's important to cut down on excessive screen exposure. Smartphones have screen limit functions that allow users to check their daily and weekly usage and adjust accordingly. Use these settings on your social media and devices to restrict excess screen exposure. If you set a limit, you'll get a notification when you're time is up. Take the control back into your hands and keep checking on how much time you're spending on screens and where that time is going, whether work-related, education-related, or just unnecessary.
Be Wary Of Video Fatigue
Online classes, live sessions, webinars, meetings, and engaging with people virtually for work and education can drain you and strain your eyes even more. Spending long periods in front of the camera will exhaust you and affect your health negatively. This will lead you to video fatigue. Try to limit your time in front of the camera and on calls and meetings. Try to schedule your calls and classes per your screen schedule and limit unnecessary exposure.
So technology can help you take a break from technology. If you're finding it hard to disengage from tech, allow the tech to help you with it. Use your phone alarm settings and calendar setting to set reminders. You can set reminders to use your phone. For instance, set the alarm for an hour and ensure you don't use your phone for an hour. Upon completing, reward yourself with 10 minutes on your favourite game or social media account. This will help you leave your phone alone and focus on other important activities.