Mental Health: Screen Time
In the interest of mental health, let’s talk about our screen time for a second.
Now I’m sure you have all seen The Social Dilemma (2020) on Netflix... and I’m sure you’re all reflecting somewhat on your social media usage... but let’s acknowledge our overall screen time. Put your phone down, leave it at home, leave it in the other room or whatever. We need to be less dependent on these screens. (And do you really want them knowing your every move? Y’all know who I’m talking about. They watching.)
Okay, so some key takeaways from The Social Dilemma for those who need a review:
- We use social media products “for free” because we are the product being sold to advertisers.
- Social media sets out to change our routines and behaviours so that scrolling and engaging on social media becomes part of us.
- Social media use is connected with negative impacts on our mental health, due to the competition we constantly digest of unrealistic portrayals of beauty and success.
Luckily there are several solutions.
take screen breaks
Deactivate your social media account(s) for a week or two, if possible. If you need to keep your account for whatever reason, you can always create screen-free time frames in your day. If I may make a suggestion, I would advise having a screen break at least one hour before bed. Apparently being on your phone right before you sleep is no good. Why, you ask? Don’t look at me, I’m not a sleep expert.
change your screen behaviours
Change your habits - we have been conditioned to unlock our phones and immediately go to social media. We are conditioned to scroll and refresh for instant gratification on our news feeds. So let’s combat this by re-conditioning our actions when we pick up our phones. And let’s try to change our habits so that the second we become bored we don’t immediately go to unlock our phones - stop to smell the posies, people! There’s a whole world out there, you’ll see it if you stop and look up for a moment.
modify your digital consumption
What the hell does that mean? It means you should be looking at more stuff that bring positivity into your life and less stuff that distracts you from being the strong, productive, lovely human being that you are. Follow accounts that represent realistic notions of happiness, success and beauty and who inspire you to be your best you. Don’t waste time on the other shit. You got better things to do, and those posies won’t smell themselves. (Right? Don’t look at me, I’m not a plant expert.)
So let’s rely on these little guys a little less going forward. We don’t need to be distracted with videos all the time. We don’t need to see what our exes are up to. We don’t need to scroll tiktok for four straight hours.
We also don’t need to have our phone sitting on the table during a dinner with our loved ones. We don’t need to jump out of our seats and stop what we are doing to go answer a text right away. We don’t need to read a text message that pops up while we are in the middle of a conversation with a human face-to-face, whether they are a friend, business associate, or cashier.
What we need to do is take care of ourselves, and I think connecting with humans and nature (‘tis the season for nature walks) instead of aimless scrolling on our phones is a step in the right direction.
In the Woods,