Whether it’s for work or leisure, most of our time is spent on screen based-devices such as our mobiles, televisions, tablets, and handheld games consoles. Every year technology keeps evolving and we get more interested in sampling all the new inventions. Through a range of latest devices we get more excited to spend time on social media, browsing, watching and gaming, as devices start to have much longer battery lifes and much better graphics.
However, it is also important to note that spending long periods on screen can have an impact on your eyesight and posture. Spending long periods of time can become unproductive, so how can you start to manage your screen time better?
Making the most out of the Apple Screen Time feature
Apple, through its iOS, has features to help regulate the amount of time spent on devices’ screens. The Apple Screen Time feature on Apple’s devices has made it easily accessible on the settings tab. The feature monitors the amount of time spent on a device and creates a report based on the findings. When you tap on it, it displays the period you have spent on-screen daily or weekly in different apps.
When you want to spend less screen time on your device, this Apple feature also enables you to limit the amount of time spent on specific apps. This is done by selecting the app, then proceeding to set your desired screen limit time. There is also an option of customising days when the time limit should be useful.
Schedule regular breaks away from your screens
With our devices we are able to now access more information than ever and they are also highly efficient to use when it comes to communication. During 2020, many people around the world used their mobile devices to contact friends, relatives, and colleagues, through instant messaging and video calls. Apps and software like Slack, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, and WhatsApp, were just some of the most popular apps that people were using for communication last year.
But with more people spending more time on their devices, and even some getting addicted to their screens, it has become key to emphasise breaks away from devices. So, how can this be achieved?
Try and leave your phone at your desk when you are taking a break from work.
Avoid using your phone just before bedtime as it can affect your sleep.
Explore a new hobby that does not involve being on any device.
Uninstall all the unnecessary apps that you might be getting addicted to.
Consider establishing ‘no-phone zones’ and ‘no-phone time’ rules in the house.
It can help promote responsible gambling & gaming
Sometimes people need a break away from their screens if they have been spending way too much time on them in the space of one day. When you have a new video console game, it can be all too easy to spend hours trying to check the new game out. However, this can have an impact on your eyes if you are spending hours staring at a screen, especially if you’re not taking any breaks either. It’s important to remember to hydrate and take regular breaks away from the game.
One of the most important online activities where screen time plays a crucial role is online gambling and betting. Gamblers who spend too much time each day or each week gambling online may not know when to stop and could be developing a gambling addiction. It’s therefore important for gamblers to recognise when they have had too much screen time and need to stop. Tools like BetBlocker offer free blocking software that allows gamblers to restrict their access to gambling sites on their device.
To coincide with Safer Gambling Week last November, BetBlocker launched a new calendaring feature to help add a new level of control to players seeking to manage their gambling in a responsible way. The purpose of SGW in 2020 was to highlight the importance of setting yourself limits for both time and money and only spending what you can afford. In the BetBlocker article, Duncan Garvie, trustee of BetBlocker and owner of casino review site The Pogg, said that the new calendaring feature ensures that gamblers can gamble in a safe and controlled manner.
Avoid doomscrolling on your devices for a more positive mindset
Also known as ‘doomsurfing’, ‘doomscrolling’ refers to the people’s constant urge to keep on scrolling through bad news on different social media platforms. The information is usually discouraging and disheartening, but that does not keep people from scrolling down the pages. Our brains are wired to get curious over such news, thus the urge to seek answers through continued browsing.
Being too hooked to doomscrolling on your mobile can have an impact on a users mental health and lead to depression, isolation and anxiety. Therefore, it is essential to limit screen time, and when online, focus more on the positive news instead of the negative ones that leave you feeling hopeless.
Blue light from devices can lead to poor sleep habits
Blue light is useful in enhancing our alertness and productivity during the day, but it is a high sleep inhibitor at night. This is because it inhibits melatonin production, a hormone that helps us become heavy-eyed and helps us sleep. Exposure to blue light at night also confuses the brain to think it’s daytime, thus enhancing our alertness levels, instead of catching some sleep.
Although it can be tempting, one of the worst things to do is be on your phone in bed, when you are waking up and especially just before you go to sleep. Some suggest that it is best to avoid screen time a few hours before bed so that you can relax and unwind before going to sleep.