As I write this my screen is glaring, lighting up my face in that desirable blueish hue that makes one look rather ill.
I’ve been talking non-stop about decluttering lately and one thing I desperately need to reduce is my screen time. I spend hours per day on my laptop be it writing on wordpress, reading articles or just watching house tour videos and it really isn’t healthy. I am completely addicted.
As you may know I love to read and I love crafting but lately I can’t seem to pull myself into reality long enough to do anything but walk to the fridge in a zombie-like state. Do you remember that week when my internet went down? What happened to THAT? I was so ready to cut down my screen time and now here I am again like a relapsing addict glued to my screen.
I’m just insatiable. Completely and utterly at the mercy of the glaring screen. What is up with that? I know how bad excessive screen time is and i’ve read countless articles on all the negative effects so why can’t I stop?
Perhaps it is like an addiction. Drug users know the harmful effects but carry on. Smokers are constantly reminded of how bad it is, yet they continue. I need help. Let’s turn to our trusty mutual friend: Google.
Here is what Google replied when I asked:
How to cut down on screen time?
The top hit is from postconsumers.com, you can read their full article here.
Their first step is to figure out what “media free” means to me. Well it means no media, duh. But i’m not a cavewoman, this is gonna take time. Like with the decluttering…. baby steps. My goal will be to reduce my internet time. I think two hours will be the ultimate goal, including phone and laptop internet usage. Is that too much, too little? I’ll see how it goes.
Next step: Log my media (internet) hours for 2-3 weeks. Why did I never think of this? What a great idea! Then I will be able to see in cold, hard numbers just how much i’m on the internet.
Step 3: Schedule media hours. This one might be tricky for me because I get random urges to write and light-bulb moments at different times during the day however I could totally compromise on this by writing in a notebook outside of my media hours. Although I can write quicker on my laptop…. perhaps if I just stick to writing (on Word) and nothing else then that isn’t internet time? I think i’m gonna need a pen….
Next: Practise a few screen-free days. EEK! I know I can do it, i’ve done it before, but my initial reaction is: “ugh”. They recommend building up to this however which I think is good advice as I can imagine going cold turkey will just suck.
Step five: Put my phone in a draw. And put it on silent. Clever idea! Then I won’t be tempted to reach for it when I see a flashing light or out of boredom.
Step Six: Give up TV. I don’t watch a lot of TV and I want to focus on my internet usage, so i’m gonna skip this one.
Next: Put a blanket over the TV. See above.
Next: Create a media free room. Another smart idea. My craft room is already completely media free, although I do take my phone in to photograph my projects however I do not use it whilst crafting or reading. But a great tip!
Step 9: Let go of the laptop. Yeah….. i’ll get there.
Next: Get rid of non-essential apps. Okay! Good idea… I have a few apps I could do without that do often draw in my attention.
Next: Car time is quiet time. I’m not gonna do this because I looooove to listen to music in the car. I don’t think there is too much harm in that. This step seems unnecessary.
Step twelve: Stock up on books. *Mockingly laughs.*
13: Find other ways to spend media free time. Well, duh. Pretty much everyone has a hobby, if not, get one. There must be something that piques your interest? Travelling, friends, walking the dog, collecting hello kitty themed stamps? Keep looking, there is a hobby for everyone.
Next: Transition to live board games. In my efforts toward minimalism I literally have 2 board games left in the house. No one ever wants to play with me because i’m too good. I’m kidding of course, no one wants to play with me because we are all grown adults and we all have better things to do than spend a week stuck in jail, not passing go and not collecting our 20k.
Next: Make it a team event. I don’t know. I will tell others what i’m up to and how it’s going but i’m not the type to preach the benefits and look down on others for not following my path. If someone expressed a desire to join in however, i’d be all for it. 🙂
16: Reward yourself. Ooh good idea! Except I can’t reward myself with food (braces) or a shopping trip (minimalism) BUT I could go for that walk in that lovely park I keep seeing on my travels. Great idea. 🙂
17: Ask to be seated away from the TV. Kinda hard when your sofa faces it. Maybe i’ll have to sit backwards… that could be uncomfortable. Then again…
18: Choose other options for background noise. This is a good one! I usually have music playing when i’m on my laptop as i’m usually reading or writing and the TV is distracting, however i’m sure a lot of people do this.
19: Be social. This is a really good tip. My fiancé and I often sit next to each other on our tech in silence for lengthy periods of time and I bet we are not the only ones. I need to put the phone down and have a cuddle. 🙂
THE FINAL TIP! : Spread the word. Hm. A little anti-climactic. I might leave this one, see team event ^ .
I can always count on google to send some awesome advice my way. I will start tomorrow! I will grab my journal and note down my internet usage time and then I will try and plan some allotted hours depending on when I spend the most time online. I will keep you updated on how I get on!
Do you have any advice for an internet addict?