There was a time when, every once in a while, we’d hear a person crack a joke about how someone has to wear glasses because they’ve been studying too much but it’s become a rarity these days to see someone with a healthy eyesight. We all know that we’ve surrounded ourselves with screens everywhere that it’s almost impossible to go a day without one. Maybe this is the price we are paying to move forward to a technology filled future. No matter if you’re a businessman, a lawyer or even a shopkeeper, you need at least a mobile phone to do your work. Even in classrooms, the heavy bags and dusty blackboards have been replaced by the smart-class projector screens. When it’s not work related, we rely on screens for the entertainment purposes as well.
There’s a high chance that most of us are already aware of the eyesight problem caused by screens but what we might not know is that such a lifestyle can have an adverse effect on our mental health as well.
Why is it important to move away from screens as much as possible?
Apart from the fact that using too much phone or staying on the computer for hours at a stretch can put a lot of strain on your eyes and cause problems like chronic backache, problems with posture, it is unhealthy for our mental health as well.
Here’s how screens can affect your lifestyle and hence, your mental health:
- We avoid going out- When we start relying too much on technology, we don’t see any point in going out of our homes because everything we need to survive is being provided by the little device in our pockets and confining yourself in a room takes you away from all the creative ideas that are out there.
- Lack of Socializing- Social media apps like Instagram have made socializing so easy, even for the introverts, that the idea is almost ‘old fashioned’ to have a cup of coffee outside with some of your old mates.
- Fantasy world over reality- Whether it is Netflix or YouTube, when we enter the world of infinite content, we let ourselves become a part of this loop of videos and TV series and before we know it, we’re skipping work and our sleep to binge watch the new season of .
- Lack of Confidence- With all the work being done from home and texting replacing the need to talk, we avoid meeting people or talking on phones. This has caused our generation to become socially awkward.
- Failing relationships- Some of us have been in a situation when we direct more of our focus on what are we going to watch while we’re eating rather than paying attention on what our partner has to say.
How to reduce the screen time?
Now that we know how screens can affect our health, first thing we’d normally do is try and change this lifestyle to acquire the positive mental health but it’s not like most of us haven’t tried already to reduce the amount of time we choose to spend in front of our mobile or TV screens.
So, we’re going to give you some of our tips on how to reduce your daily screen time:
- Note your Screen Time- All the new mobile phones nowadays come with an in-built feature of recording the screen time per week of all the apps you’re using. Try to uninstall or limit the apps you feel are taking a good chunk of your time every day.
- Eat your meals without a screen- Most of us have this habit of eating our meals while going through our Instagram feed or watching our favorite episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. but changing this habit not only reduces your screen time but you’re also able to enjoy your food in a better way.
- Don’t watch movies in bed- We all know the comfort of binge watching a series while we lay in our beds but try to do this on your couch instead. Doing this will make it easier for you to stop rather than just press ‘keep watching’ when you’re already cozy in bed.
- Socialize in real life- Instead of just staying in touch with everyone on social media, try to spend more time meeting some of your old friends over a cup of coffee. At first, it may seem like a difficult option to leave the comfort of your bed but once you make it a routine to do this once a week, it’ll not only reduce the screen time but also help you get over any social awkwardness.
- Stop charging your phone next to your bed- When we charge our phones next to our beds, the first thing we wake up to is our phones. We check our messages or emails in the night and wait till we doze off to sleep. A study has found that looking at our phone’s screen just before going to sleep can disrupt our sleep pattern.
- Physical books over E-books- E-books are more feasible and having the option of carrying multiple books in your device is definitely tempting but we’d recommend you to go the old way. Reading a physical copy puts lesser strain on your eyes and believe us, a piled up stack of books in your library can be really pleasing to the eyes.
- Digital detox- The best way to make the most of your time away from the screens is a digital detox. We know it seems almost impossible but hey, if Ed Sheeran can do this for a year, we can at least do it once every week!
- Don’t take your phone to the bathroom- Ok, we know it can be boring to just sit in the bathroom doing nothing and you might as well just get some work done But realistically, how long are you planning to sit in there? Next time, maybe try to leave the phone outside while you’re in there, imagine yourself in a Koffee with Karan interview and see how that goes.
We know how difficult it is to go back to the old ways when getting everything done was so easy with all the technology but it is always better to put our health first over everything else. Not to sound poetic, but life will seem a lot prettier when you keep the phones down for some time and enjoy a walk under the trees or listen to the 90s music or re-read the Harry Potter series.
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