Detaching from the Screen

Image result for screen time icon

It’s 2020. Can you believe that? Twenty Twenty. Shouldn’t cars be flying by now? Or AI initiating a hostile takeover on our lives? Or maybe the world should have ended on doomsday of 2012 and we are eight years further than we ever thought we would be. It’s 2020, and while some predictions are accurate, the world we live in is constantly changing. With a virus spreading, an interesting presidential race, and the evolution of modern technology happening all right under our noses, it is interesting to see how the start of the new decade will end. One thing that has been very prevalent the last 5 years and only getting more and more of the norm, is how much time we (as in just about everyone that is on socials or owns a smartphone) are glued to the small screen we carry with us everywhere we go. It isn’t necessarily a terrible problem, but sometimes time away from the screen is definitely needed. Here are 3 ways to kick the screen away (even if it is only for 30 minutes). 

Pick up something tangible.

This is kind of another way of saying read a book, but that’ll come in a few sentences. Essentially, we are on our phone searching for content or chatting with friends. We all love to text and Facetime, but this requires staring at our screen or staring at it every minute between responses. A good alternative to this is picking up a cup of coffee (or a beer, or any preferred beverage or even snack) and to meet up with someone face to face. Sure it requires getting out of bed, leaving your house and looking presentable, and then spending money. Okay, so it is a lot more work then a push of a button. But someone’s literal presence is just different. On another note, for the content quest, pick up a book or a magazine. Whether you just like looking at photos or reading, there is something for everyone. Sure, you definitely will get judged more for reading a playboy magazine than getting stuck in the vortex of Instagram models, but at least you aren’t straining your eyes. Books are rad because they are pretty much videos. Except they require effort and imagination, which makes them worse than videos. 

Make it a part of work.

If you have the ability to, maybe make checking socials a part of your job. Whether it’s freelance or even just helping someone out, there is a limit to how much you can look at your phone. If you are looking at it all the time for a paycheck or under a different account, it definitely will wear down your time for personal use. Same goes with computers. If you find yourself grinding in an excel doc or constantly surfing the web for work, you probably will get home and just want to disconnect. Both me and my roommate feel this way, but occasionally I overindulged in both my phone and laptop. It’s all relative, as sometimes you might binge and other times go completely analog for the day. This is realistically the least useful way to step away from the screen. This assumes you have a job that requires avid screen time, which isn’t the case all the time. And most who don’t have a line of work like this probably aren’t looking to get into the screen sector. All good, theres at least one other recommendation you can try above and below.

Do something and vow not to check it. 

Hobbies are things you really like doing. If you didn’t, you probably wouldn’t put aside so much time to do them. A hobby could be designated time to not look at your phone and really enjoy what you are putting your focus into. Some hobbies are much easier to do this than others. Any sport will make you put your phone down. Especially surfing, which makes you most of the time leave your phone in the car and go bob up and down unbothered by other humans via technology. You definitely will still get bothered by either that annoying talkative guy in the lineup or the dude who you almost hit on that screamer of a wave as he just sat in the middle of the wave like a deer in headlights. Aside from activities that require exercise, there are plenty of other things you can do and just leave the phone far away. Drawing, learning to play an instrument, cooking, or just doing chores around the house are all great ways to avoid the screen. Just put it very far away and forget about it. If there is a reason you need to be by your phone (ie emergency or awaiting a certain call/notificaiton) so be it. Even 20 minutes with no screen is better than 20 minutes on the screen. 

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