Over the last two years while the world transitioned to its new normal, we turned to our devices more than ever to stay connected with our friends and family, and sometimes even strangers, leading to a global increase in screen time. In fact, according to Eyesafe, at the beginning of the pandemic, screen time for every American adult over 18 was estimated to have increased to over 13 hours per day, up from 10 hours per day in 2019. That’s quite an increase. Not to mention, media consumption also increased amongst home-bound consumers, leading to a 60% increase in the amount of video content watched globally.
While it’s easy, and at times necessary, to rely on our phones as a means to stay connected with our loved ones, especially with everything that has happened over the past two+ years, it’s been difficult to justify being too far away from your phone in case of an emergency. As a result, we’re feeling burnt out from staring at a screen, but we can explore new ways to better utilize the tools and resources that are available within reach.
Here are some ways to help prioritize your mental health first and to put down your phone:
- Turn your phone on Silent Mode: Turning your phone on Silent Mode may seem scary because you’re disconnecting yourself, but with BuzzBell’s bypass technology, you don’t have to worry about missing an important message or a call from your friends or family with its key override capability. Rely on technology to keep you updated in the way that you want to be.
- Limit daily social media intake: Many studies show correlation between social media intake and depression and loneliness, including one study that found that the less people used social media, the less depressed and lonely they felt. Use your phone’s screen time tracker and app limit to keep track of the time that you’re spending on social media. Instead of heading to a social media app, use BuzzBell to share photos, videos and memories and connect with your loved ones over a phone or video call.
- Set aside screen-free time before bedtime: The blue light from screens of phones and the TV disrupts the natural sleep cycle for both adults and children and lack of sleep affects not only your physical being, but also your emotions and concentration. It’s important to set aside your screens for 2 hours before bedtime to help sleep better and wake up on time. We know this may not always be possible, but it’s a good goal to work towards that your mind and body will thank you for in the long run.
For additional tips and guidelines on screen time for adults and children, check out the Family Digital Wellness Guide from The Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.