Screen overuse has become a serious problem in our society, and many families are struggling to create a healthy balance... to no fault of their own. However, there is growing awareness about this brilliant yet sometimes destructive force in our lives.... and how to best integrate technology so that it serves (versus enslaves) us.
It is important to become educated. The following video illustrates just how pervasive this issue has become, particularly for young people:
You wish you would have watched this before you started using social media
As well, there are a number of articles that offer excellent advice:
Your child and screens: moderation is key
“Technology offers children more than entertainment, so we differentiate educational screen time from recreational screen time. Many smartphone and tablet apps are both educational and fun. We should encourage our kids to spend more time with these games and programs. Of course, technology can and should be fun. But we also need to train our kids to see tech as a tool, a pathway to success rather than just a toy".
10 Ways to Limit Your Child’s Screen Time
- Creating Balance -
We all have our own unique rhythms and needs, so it is important that you create a balance that works for you. Some suggestions might include:
· Implement outdoor time every day. Studies show this enhances mental clarity and a more positive mood
· Implement other means to get dopamine - https://brainmd.com/blog/7-ways-to-boost-dopamine-focus-and-energy/·
- Use technology for educational purposes (not just social media or games); watch interesting documentaries or TedTalks together to discuss as a family.
· Enjoy non-technology games (board games, cards, puzzles, etc) and art (mandala coloring books, music, cooking, gardening, etc)
· Create a daily / weekly schedule with technology that works for your family. For example:
No technology for the first and last 30 minutes of every day
No technology during meals / for an hour around dinner
Take a break every hour for 10 - 15 minutes.
No technology in bedrooms; turn devices in at night.
- Delay the Ding - We all get notifications multiple times a day. What if we consciously decided to delay 'looking at the ding' for a few minutes after we hear it (unless it is likely work-related, during work hours)? Or if we decided to check our phones every couple of hours, but not more often, during non-work time? Or if we kept our phones on airplane mode for certain periods of time? How would that feel for your home?