Excess of everything is bad.– Almost everyone during my childhood
As far as I can remember, I can recall my parents and grandparents quoting this. I always tried to look for examples which would counter this statement, but till date, I am unable to do so.
While the intent was to prevent one self from developing an addiction of some sort, little did I know about how addictions work. This article puts lights on one such addiction and questions like, what is digital wellbeing?
My two year old niece started crying a few days ago. Why? Because she was trying to change a television channel by touching the TV screen and scrolling it to the left. That incident kept me thinking for so many days. Screens play an integral part in our lives now. Imagine bringing up a generation who has never experienced a device that cannot be interacted with, physically.
We as adults are no less. While I was working with Vodafone, one of my bosses once said. “data is going to be much bigger than it is today. We wake up in the morning and check on our phones before checking on our spouse and kids.” We laughed off at that moment but that soon became a reality for most of us.
So what exactly is digital wellbeing and how do you know if you need it at all or not? I have made a 4 point test for you to check if you are addicted to your cellphone.
- Do you panic and rush for a charger, as your phone nears a battery percentage below 10%?
- Do you check out your phone during your morning business and during the night, before sleeping?
- Do you find yourself checking on your phone with no logical reason? Just unlocking it, scrolling here and there and locking it back?
- Has your phone become a safe haven for you during awkward situations? Like you can just drop your head into the screen if you want to avoid a conversation?
If your answer is yes to any of the above questions, welcome aboard. You are a screen zombie. I have been one too. But there’s a lot of ways by which you can stop yourself from sliding on that slippery road.
1. Know where you stand:
A good starting point would be to know how much time are you glued to screen. iOS and Android 10 have native features that enable this. There are some third party applications on play store as well that will help you do this.
For iOS, head to settings–> Screentime
For Android, head to setting–> Digital Wellbeing
2. Setting up limits
Now that you know your numbers, I am quite sure they must be pretty shocking. Reality did hit me hard when I first saw them. What next? These applications will also tell you the apps that consume most of your time.
What did I do? Simply put up limits on those applications.
3. Adhere to the limits
Here comes the toughest part. You may set all the limits you want, but adhering to them requires discipline and commitment. For Android, it may be difficult for you to remove the limit impulsively as you have to go back to the setting and edit it. For iOS, you get an option of ignoring the limit for the day right on the pop up which asks you to stop. So, you call the shots.
I totally understand how good of a time killer these apps have become. But, nothing should be so overpowering that it affects your productivity. With these simple steps, I was able to reduce my average screen time from 8+ hours a day to about 5 hours. That is 21 hours of a week to do something better. What better you may ask? Well, stay tuned for that. A lot more to follow in this section.
Until Next Time…