The average person spends more than 11 hours a day in front of a screen. Part of that time may be for work, but what about when you’re at home?
Do you find yourself picking up your phone and mindlessly scrolling through social media? Is the TV always running in the background, distracting you from what you’re trying to accomplish?
If so, you’re not alone. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept it. In fact, cutting back on your screen time is one of the best things you can do.
Here are a few reasons you should limit screen time every day.
1. Screen Time Limits Your Ability to Focus
How often are you reading on a tablet, surfing the web, or playing a game on your phone and not also watching TV or sitting with someone?
Not very often, right? This means you’re multitasking. And for most people, multitasking makes it harder to focus on a single task.
Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t mean you’re being more productive or getting more done. It means you’re distracted.
When you limit screen time, you give your brain a chance to focus on one task at a time. You’ll be more productive and work faster.
2. Encourages Instant Gratification
The internet puts everything at your fingertips and fosters a sense of instant gratification. If you want something, you can buy it with a single click. If you have a question, the answer lies somewhere in an internet search.
You don’t have to work to get what you want.
Unfortunately, instant gratification is not a realistic part of daily life. You have to work for what you get. By limiting screen time, you become more appreciative of the things you earn and more determined to work for the things you don’t have.
3. Interrupts Your Sleep
Most screens emit blue light—the same type of light emitted by the sun. This registers in your brain as daylight. This makes it tough to go to sleep.
Not using a backlit screen like your phone or tablet before bed reduces your exposure to that blue light. This makes it easier for your brain to recognize that it’s time to go to bed.
You’re not sending mixed signals that it’s still daytime and still time to be active. You’ll start to sleep better and wake up rested.
4. Fosters Sedentary Lifestyles
Being sedentary is bad for you no matter how young or old you are. And it’s almost impossible to move when you’re sitting in front of a screen.
Once you cut down on your screen time each day, you’ll have more time to move around. Go for a walk, play with the kids, or have an impromptu dance party in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you get up and move.
5. Promotes Jealousy
It’s easy to compare yourself with others on social media. In some instances, it creates a fun sense of competition. But when most posts only show off the good things others are experiencing, it’s easy to feel jealous.
When you see only the good things going on in others’ lives, you compare your life to theirs. If something negative happens, it’s normal to feel jealous of others’ good fortune.
But social media only shows the story users want to tell. It’s not indicative of real life. By limiting screen time, you’ll separate yourself from those feelings.
6. It’s Hard on Your Eyes
Your eyes are constantly focusing and refocusing when you’re watching TV or scrolling through a web page. This means the muscles in your eyes are working a ton. The more they work, the more tired they get.
This is what’s known as eye strain. When you limit your screen time, you give your eyes a much-needed rest.
7. Cellular Devices Emit Radiation
All cell phones emit radiation and there is some risk to prolonged radiation exposure.
Though the amounts from cell phones haven’t gotten linked to cancer, it’s always good to be cautious. Even the American Cancer Society urges caution and suggests limiting your exposure whenever possible.
Limiting your screen time reduces your exposure to radiation. For kids, this is especially important.
8. May Lead to Depression
Getting lost to the internet cuts down on the amount of social interaction you have each day. This means you’re spending time alone even in a crowd.
Over time, it’s normal for the self-imposed isolation to cause feelings of depression and increased feelings of anxiety.
When you cut down on screen time and put the phone or tablet away when you’re around others, things change. You’re able to focus on the conversation and you interact with others on a more regular basis.
This is especially important for kids and teenagers. The sooner they start working on their social skills, the better prepared they’ll be for life as an adult. Check out this article to learn more about how screen time impacts teens.
9. Causes Poor Posture
Almost every mobile device encourages poor posture. You slouch while typing on the computer. You squint at phone screens and hunch over tablets.
The longer this happens, the more it impacts your health. You’ll notice stiffness in your muscles and may even have pain in your back and neck.
When you reduce screen time, you give your body more opportunity to improve posture and work out those kinks. In the long-run, this helps you be more productive and helps you maintain a happier and healthier lifestyle.
10. Takes Up Tons of Time
Believe it or not, mindless scrolling through social media and random websites eats up a lot of time each day. That’s time that you could use doing anything else like reading a book or relaxing after a long day at work.
By limiting the amount of time you spend on devices, you’ll free up tons of time during the day. Use it to pursue other interests, reconnect with people, or get some exercise. The only limit is your imagination.
Limit Screen Time ASAP
When you first limit screen time, it’s easy to feel lost. Believe it or not, internet addiction is a real thing. And it detracts from your quality of life.
The sooner you start, the better you’ll feel and the more time you’ll have to devote to other interests. It may be hard at first, but you’re up for the challenge!
And if you need a little help figuring out how to use your free time, we’ve got you covered. Check out our latest posts for inspiration and start disconnecting from technology today.