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06 Apr. 2021

Technology Use and Overuse

Take a moment and think about the following question: how much time do you spend in a day when you are NOT looking at a screen? Most of us, if we are very honest, would answer “not much”. I often find myself on my phone or on my laptop, either for work or for my free time.

Dear children, just try to think about how much time you spend on your mobile, laptop, desktop, or play station? With the lockdown, our screen time has exacerbated enormously. Our classes are online, their interaction with friends is through video calls, texting, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and more. Would you like to know about your technology usage? Answer these three questions. Do you find yourself reaching for your phone when you wake up? Do you spend most of your free time on your phone/laptop/game station? Do you stay awake late at night on your phone?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, let us now see what we can do to reduce screen time? Read on to know more!

• Morning Detox: For a lot of us, the first thing we look at when we wake up is our phones. We check our messages, scroll through social media, and flip through random apps. This is not a great way to start the morning. One exercise that can be done is to avoid any screens for the first hour after waking up. Children can instead spend the initial morning time freshening up, eating breakfast, reading the newspaper, talking to family, and even going for a stroll. This will help clear the mind and set it for the day’s activities.

• Non-Digital Activities: It is important to consciously engage in activities that do not involve digital devices and screens. Unfortunately, a lot of our free time has also become device focused, for example, watching series, movies online such as on Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hotstar, etc. There should be a conscious attempt to do activities that do not require technology. For example, cooking, gardening, exercising, reading books, drawing, and more. These are also covid-19 safe activities as they do not involve going out.

• Night Detox: For a good night’s sleep, it is crucial to avoid screen time for at least ninety minutes to two hours prior to one’s bedtime. Other activities that can be done in this time period can be some light reading, meditation, listening to soft music, or journaling. These activities help relax and soothe the mind and can ensure better sleep quality.

These were some of the minor changes we can bring our life to avoid excessive use of technology. Once these are mastered, one can move to other ways to further reduce device and screen usage.