Try these seven “workouts” to be more lean about screens and device use.
We all indulged in more screen time during the pandemic and that’s ok. It served as our outlet to the world while we were virtually stuck indoors for more than a year. But as life returns to some semblance of normalcy it could be time for a reset on device use. Here are ways to cut back on excessive gaming, scrolling, and bingeing this spring.
1. Start with a warm up.
Small changes in your screen time habits can make a big impact over time. Look at how much time your family is spending on devices that’s dedicated to school/work, creative and social activities, and passive entertainment (a Kaiser study found that kids ages 8 to 18 spend up to 114 full days a year watching a screen just for fun). Decide as a family what you could cut out in order to get more together time as well as important physical and outdoor time.
Start with this small change and then re-evaluate how you can make more changes as you experience the wellness benefits of leaner screen time.
2. Get in a daily habit.
Parental controls like Circle can help you automate new limits, such as no social media during meals times and the recommended one hour before bedtime. Kids thrive on routine so scheduling times when they can be on and off devices, or on specific apps and sites at certain times of the day, means you're all more likely to stick to the plan for the long term.
3. Lighten your load.
Do an inventory of the apps on your devices. Are you carrying extra “weight”? Remove apps you never use and organize the ones you do — you may find that some of the rarely used ones are costing you money.
4. Get outside.
It’s spring! Boost your physical and mental health with outdoor activities vs. screen time dormancy, especially as kids have missed out on many extracurricular activities for more than a year.
5. Find a “workout” buddy.
Challenge your partner and/or your kids to join you in one screen time don’t, such as delete Facebook for a week, don’t check email on weekends, or start reading real books before bedtime while leaving your phones in a designated station outside the bedroom.
6. Take a rest day.
No device Sundays, anyone? Take one day a week to log off for the day and explore something new with the family, such as gardening, kayaking, or a bike ride.
7. Flex your screen time muscles.
Plans are meant to be adjusted over time as your lifestyle changes. Schools are opening up and life is slowly resuming normalcy. Check back in after a few months and make sure your screen time plan works for you and your family. You’ll find that as you start to slim down on the sedentary habit of screen time your overall well-being will start to bloom.
If these 7 steps have inspired you to go even leaner on screen time, you can! Add extra limits and Off Times with Circle. Learn how here.