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Stop Living Your Life Online: Top Tips for Limiting Screen Time

Updated: May 18, 2022


In our modern world with iPhones in our pockets, the internet, television and modern gaming; it can be a real struggle to find balance and connect with the real world around us. This is especially true for the busy practitioner. Doubly true if you have an online business. If you're in this situation, there, is a strong temptation to 'live your life online'. Unfortunately, social media and mobile phone notifications are designed to be addictive. Therefore, even when we manage to pull ourselves out of this online world and pay attention to our surroundings, its only a matter of time before the next notification pops up the draw us back into that virtual reality. So, what can we do about this? In this article I will give you simple tips to set limits on your phone and get back to reality.


Firstly, lets consider the effects of our online world:


Research shows that screen time/internet use causes:

  • Reduced our concentration or attention span

  • Is altering the way we store and retrieve information and memories

  • Is changing the way we interact socially

  • Impaired sleep

  • Increased Cardiovascular disease risk

  • Impaired vision

  • Reduced bone density

  • Obesity and insulin resistance

  • Increased risk of depression and suicide

  • Altered dopamine and reward pathways in the brain

  • Induced ADHD behaviour


How do we manage our screen time?


  • Set limits on the apps on your phone (if you don't have this built into your phone you can download apps that will set limits for you). Try to limit your worst app offenders that you tend to stay on. For example: if you love scrolling on Facebook for 3 hours a day, limit it to 1 hour.

  • If you tend to get lost scrolling, perhaps backwards scrolling may help. Scroll down for a minute or so and then scroll your phone upwards instead of down so that you have a limit at the end.

  • Set no-phone zones in the house. For example: no phone in the toilet or bedroom at night.

  • Set a downtime limit on your phone at night to prevent you from being on your phone all night prior to bed.

  • Remove notifications from all but the most important apps - this is important as these notifications are made to keep you coming back again and again.

  • Set up the focus or do not disturb to give you down time to get things done. If you are doing social media marketing schedule that into your calendar, then schedule 30-60 minutes a day to check comments, so you are not constantly 'online'.

  • In addition, research has found that balancing screen time with 'green time' (time in nature) could offset the poor effects from increased screen time. Therefore, schedule time out in nature rather than in front of your screen. This could be 30-60 minutes a day in the garden at the end of the day.


I hope that helps you all manage your screen time in a healthy way. Remember to be gentle with yourselves. These devices are designed to be addictive! We need to altar them to suit our needs so they are not constantly pulling us into their world and we can maintain balance between the inner and outer.


Love and light,


Branwen



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