How to live simply in the digital age: Six tips to reduce wasteful screen time

Simple Living FYS November 17, 2017 0

According to the Pew Research Center, most U.S. citizens (77%) now own a smartphone. A Nielsen Company audience report in 2016 indicated that adults in the United States spend over 10 hours and 39 minutes each day on technology.

Individuals rely on technology now more than ever. Bright screens tire our eyes. Immediate answers shorten our attention spans and staring at our phones prevents us from speaking to those around us.

In Milton Kazmeyer’s article titled “Negative Effects of Technology on Communication,” he explains how the world is becoming poorly connected because basic communication skills are rarely exercised. Reducing screen time can be freeing and allow individuals to do things that truly matter.

Sarah Beth Harris, author of the article, “5 Benefits of Limiting Screen Time,” states that shortening screen time has been found to have multiple benefits for those seeking to simplify their life. Limiting Internet browsing and social media scrolling provides more time, intentional living, and focus.

Srinivas Rao, author of the article, “4 Amazing Benefits of Reducing Your Screen Time” and host of multiple podcasts, writes, “The average human attention span has gone below that of a goldfish.” Rao recently conducted an experiment where he limited his screen time at night.

As a result, he noticed positive changes in his morning routine. He identified four major benefits of limiting screen time two hours before going to bed. He states that limiting screen time allows your brain to relax, resulting in better sleep because stress and anxiety are reduced.

Constantly looking at digital screens does not give the brain time to process information into long term memory. When trying to communicate and connect with others, Rao suggests that individuals put their phones away, so more focus is placed on the conversation.

Rao also believes that it is important to refrain from looking at screens when first waking up because you will be distracted from tasks that should be completed.

According to Cris Rowan’s “10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12,” technology usage has become an epidemic. By following these steps, screen time and its health risks can be decreased.

1. Designate time each day to avoid looking at any screens.

2. Do not bring devices to the bathroom—bring a book or magazine instead,

3. Call instead of text,

4. Take photos with an actual camera.

5. Write a letter to a friend or loved one.

6. Discuss something you find interesting verbally in conversation rather than sharing it on social media.

Minimizing time spent watching screens creates a much more fulfilling lifestyle because it involves fewer distractions. Technology is changing the way we function, not only socially, but mentally.

Stay tuned for next week’s column sharing our off-screen experience of tea at Sweet Remembrances in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Don’t forget to share your experiences limiting screen time by using #EtownSimplified on Twitter.


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