In a day and age where information is instantaneously available, it’s easy to give the tech in your life too much time and attention. Need a recipe? Pinterest is only a tap away. Need to do some research about what kind of therapy is best for you–the opportunities are endless. Easy access to just about any kind of information you want is incredibly convenient. But because of how easy and available it is, it’s become second nature. And that isn’t exactly a good thing–especially for our emotional, physical, and mental health. So, where do you draw the line between helpful and hurtful? How do you moderate your screen time? Let’s start off answering these questions by understanding how screen time affects your mind and body.
How Too Much Screen Time Impacts Your Health
From straining your eyes to changes in your sleep pattern, too much screen time can impact your physical health. Many people have no choice but to stare at a screen too much during the day for work. So, when it comes to choosing to spend your free time online, consider your timing. Try to stay off a screen before bed since the blue light your device emits can impact your sleep patterns. If you absolutely can’t give it up, look into a special type of blue light glasses that can cut back on your exposure.
Emotional and Mental Impacts
Depending on what activities take up the bulk of your screen time, you could unintentionally be harming your mental health. For example, we’ve all heard about doomscrolling. While yes, there are many crises in the world that (directly and indirectly) impact you, obsessing over what you can’t control isn’t doing you any favors.
Be aware of the kind of information you’re consuming and how it makes you feel. Are you feeling down, doomed, and stressed out after each time you put your phone down? If that’s the case, or you’re feeling emotionally and mentally spent, consider staying offline.
Ways to Moderate Your Screen Time
We work on a PC and stream our favorite shows. A lot of our music and almost all our books have gone digital, so quitting every form of screen time won’t happen overnight. So even though giving it up isn’t a realistic solution, there are many different ways to moderate your screen time.
Setting boundaries for your screen time is a simple way to manage your time on your devices. One of the most important boundaries you can set comes by way of curating your feeds on social media. If you’re struggling with doomscrolling, change what kind of news you’re consuming. Look for more positive and uplifting media.
Do you really need to be notified every single time a retailer you subscribe to drops a new sale? Or how about a tweet notification every time a celebrity you follow has something new to say? There is a difference between having notifications turned on for things that have pressing reasons, like text messages with friends and family or work-related emails (only on working days). Don’t let yourself get bombarded with too many notifications that disrupt your day-to-day.
Our therapists here at Let’s Talk Psychological Wellness are committed to helping you manage the stress that comes with too much screen time. Feel confident and change your behaviors involving technology. Call, text, or email us.