Sunday, 20 September 2015

Screen Addiction


I've heard of screen addiction before but never really thought much about it as I didn't feel I had a problem with it. I wasn't like my friend who spends pretty much every waking hour playing online computer games, or like my other friend playing on their phone while you’re talking to them. I didn't do any of that so I was fine, right? Well actually - no I wasn't (sad face).

Recently I've been getting a lot of headaches and it’s not my eyes as I get them checked regularly as I wear reading glasses (have since I was 8) and it wasn't sugar headaches as they feel very different to the ones I've been experiencing – so what was causing them?

I noticed they were worse Monday – Wednesday when I’d come home from work. You see I stare at a computer screen for 8 hours each of those days doing data entry, I rarely get to take my eyes off the screens (we have 2) or get breaks from my desk (except lunch time then the TV is on in the lunch room), then I come home so exhausted, I'll turn on the TV to zone out while playing on my Iphone. Then on Thursday – Friday while working from home for my other job I'll be on the laptop most hours and playing on my Iphone when I wanted a break, then on goes the TV at night. I didn't realise how much I was staring at screens until I decided to do a little experiment and step back from them for a bit.

Yes I can’t stop using the computer for work as its part of the job but I can control my other uses. When I started controlling my other usage it hit me how dependant I was on them, especially for entertainment. I love reading and being creative but always felt like I didn't have the time, um actually I did have the time I was just poorly managing it. I catch myself reaching for my phone so often to help pass time and I'm now asking myself do I really need to use the phone? I'm starting to go hours now without touching it and not really care. With my work from home job, I'm making list of exactly what needs to be done and setting myself time limits to get the work done in, so I'm now getting all my work done in less time as I'm not going onto other websites to play around and waste time. I've even unsubscribed from many email lists as I realised I was never really reading most of them anyway. Now my inbox is smaller plus I'm actually leaving some unread (which is huge).

Also since I've been doing this my husband MJ started to realise how much TV he was watching and getting distracted by, that he’s now curbing his screen time too.

It's taken a couple of weeks but I'm finding the urge to pick up the phone is finally getting less and I'm able to pick up a book or something creative and not feel like I'm missing out on something, plus the added bonus is my headaches are getting a little less often.

That's one of the things I really found out with cutting screen time was I always felt like I was missing out on something if I wasn't on the computer, watching the TV or using my phone. I'm not quite sure what I was missing out on but I just felt it was big and important. Since taking a step back I've found out I was missing out on more by using them instead of being out there doing other things.

Do you have screen addiction? How do you manage your screen time? 

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