Most of us really enjoy the technology that is all around us. From listening to music on our iPods to having a small computer on us at all times, we love the way we can be connected at all times. There is always something to do when we have our smartphones on us, especially when you consider the vast amount of social media right at our fingertips. From Facebook to TikTok to Instagram and more, we have entertainment, news, comedy, and drama with us every step of the way.
Of course, most of us also know that there is a downside to being connected constantly to the outside world. According to studies, being immersed in the digital world can become a major source of stress if we aren’t careful. It’s not only our smartphones that can cause issues with extended use, either. Video games, while great for hand-eye coordination, can also cause issues by suppressing the frontal lobe of our brains. This can hinder our attention, memory, and even problem-solving skills.
While it’s not a bad thing to relax with a video game or stroll through the apps on our phone to stay connected, it’s very important to find the right balance. No one should be so addicted to their video games or smartphones that they lose sight of the real world. Luckily, there are some easy ways that you can take back control of your digital use. Read on to learn more.
Figure out just how much time you spend a day on technology, including your smartphone, television, and video games. Some newer phone models have a setting that will even show you a breakdown of the time you spend on various apps. On average, Americans spend about six hours per day on entertainment. Once you have this figure, decide where you can reduce your time spent on digital activities. A reduction of 10 to 20 percent is a good start.
Do your best to prioritize family dinners again. Yes, we know it can be hard to get everyone together in one room every day. But try to have your dinner together at the table as much as possible, not in front of the television where you may be used to sitting. Ask everyone to set their phones down for the duration of the meal. Talk together as a family. This is especially important for families with children. Studies have shown that teenagers who engage with their parents and siblings at meals are at a lower risk of engaging in high-risk behaviors.
Change up the way you do your chores and tasks. Changing up the way you respond to tasks throughout your day can reduce the stress that comes when your lifestyle is centered around technology. Return a phone call and then knock some writing off of your list. Take five minutes to return a couple of texts before reading that report. You’ll feel less stressed if you can break things up when you have to be on your phone or computer.