The pandemic has catalyzed the virtual era. Earlier, after attending eight hours of physical college, I relied on Netflix and Instagram to take care of my me-time. Following the same ritual into the virtual era, I continued studying on-screen, followed fitness and reading sessions on screen, completing assignments on screen, and at the end of the day, social media and OTT platforms to put me to sleep.
Ironically, I went back to the same ‘opaques’ for my pastime to escape from the stress inflicted by them. Yes, I choose to call my laptop, smartphone, and television ‘opaques’ because of their basic property of not allowing our minds to grasp/see anything outside of them.
Did you know?
1. An average Indian’s smartphone use has gone up by 25% since the pandemic.
2. Screen time has increased by 100% for children.
Today, our day comprises of jumping from one screen to the next. Smartphones at the breakfast table, laptops at work and school, meeting people on screen, and the day ends with the idiot box entertaining the stressed family at dinner time. The gyms and hobby classes we take up are also through virtual sessions these days.
Gone are the days when kids stepped out and played in the evening. The pandemic threat put a stop to outdoor playtime. Adults used to take some time out to go on walks or work out for a while. The reduced outdoor exposure and movement will eventually accelerate the rate of obesity in children and adults.
An increase in screen time can be associated with depression. Many adults choose screen time and spending time online than facing real-life issues and stress. Research conducted by Dr Jean Twenge and Dr W. Keith Campbell proves that an adolescent who spends 7 hours on screen is likely to be more depressed than one who spends just an hour on screen.
Studies have proven that blue light emitted from screens can lead to delayed sleeping and disturbed sleep cycles in children and adults.
Chronic neck and back issues
Increased screen time affects your posture. An incorrect posture eventually leads to severe neck and back issues. Apart from these issues, excessive screen time causes behavior problems, educational problems, harm family relations, and more.
People are promoting online hobby training and fitness classes to fight anxiety and enjoy a much-needed break. However, going back to the screen for help may defy the entire purpose of relaxation. Continue enjoying your hobbies and fitness sessions through a screen. Still, at least stay an hour away from the screen. There are many exciting ways that we can do this.
1. No smartphones or devices at the breakfast and dinner table.
2. Take a ten minutes break in an hour and move around for a while. If you are looking for a solution, pace around your room and stretch a little while brainstorming.
3. Movie nights or fun games every weekend without screens.
4. Leave your smartphones outside the bedroom when you go to sleep.
5. Read a book(hardcopy) for at least half an hour a day.
6. Go for a walk without your phones.
7. Set a timer to notify you about increased phone use.
8. Call people instead of chatting on screens and apps.
Let us start by picking out one or two of these ideas. Screens are an inevitable part of our life. However, it’s time we voluntarily choose to live without them before they harm our existence.
If you have any other exciting ideas, post them in the comments.