Even though we’re surrounded by technology, it’s important to take a break from it sometimes. How much screen time is too much?
The time we spend using technology is getting longer and longer, and so it’s important to realize when we should take a break. The time we spend on our screens can be positive, but you may also experience some negative effects of too much screen time. You need to know how much screen time is too much, and be able to set limits for yourself. Screen time includes any activity on a screen including but not limited to:
- watching TV (including, cable and streaming services like Netflix)
- playing video games
- watching videos on YouTube
- using a computer, tablet or phone to go online
- using social media
- reading an ebook
So, why is it important to limit your screen time? What does too much screen time do to you? When someone is using technology too much, they may experience negative effects such as:
- poor sleep habits
- less energy
- less physical activity
- less focus at school
- symptoms of depression and anxiety
Experts suggest that people should not have more than two hours of screen time a day. But, that may not be realistic for a lot of people, with school and work requiring more and more time on a computer. In that case, try to limit screen time to when it is required, rather than spending most of your free time on your smartphone, TV, tablet or computer. Managing your screen time is important for a healthy lifestyle.
Tips to Help Manage your Screen Time
- Put away or turn off any screens at least one hour before bedtime.
- Limit or turn off screens during meal times.
- Turn off your notifications. If your device is constantly going off, it can distract you from getting things done. It can also distract you from your social outings, and keep you from appreciating the time you’re spending with people in real life.
- Carry books or magazines with you that you can read in your spare time
- Tell people about your plan to cut back on technology. That can help to keep you accountable. You can ask a family member to call you at a certain time. Or make a date to meet a friend.
- Don’t bring your phone everywhere with you. This includes class, work and the bathroom!
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