Oh look! You are on your device. Right. Now.
Undoubtedly, the technology usage in our lives has exponentially increased since quarantine has begun and isolation has fueled desire for human contact in any form. Whether it be Instagram, Snapchat or a dating app, users everywhere have taken spare time to a new level with quarantine trends and challenges.
Other than the obvious social media, screen time has specifically begun to spike with online internships, ZOOM hangouts, meetings, and family time.
While many of these things provide the average young adult with entertainment and involvement with friends and family, the amount we are using social media or looking at any sort of screen, including binging Normal People on Hulu, does not bode well for our mental nor physical health.
Thus, I have compiled some ideas to help one 'un-screen' and revamp their free time.
1. Set limits and reminders on your devices
I absolutely need limits on my phone. Without them, I aimlessly scroll, and for what? A headache seeps in and hardly any fruitful actions occur. Apple products specifically allow the user to set time limits on certain apps, app groups, such as social media, and also general screen time. Thus, after my allotted time, my phone locks me out of all socials, and after 11:00 pm, all apps besides the necessities. I find this really helps build an awareness that I hardly realized I needed before quarantine.
Secondly, it can be wonderfully helpful to set a reminder on your phone to tell you when to take a break or do a certain activity such as, 'do ten squats' 'walk the dog' or 'bake something!' A reminder a day keeps the boredom away.
2. Refine your app collection
I honestly believe I do not need half the apps I have on my phone, yet I go on them anyway simply because they sit in solemn confinement on my screen. For example, games. They increase screen time and really do nothing for the user but numb their emotive responses.
I also believe that really diving into one's social media apps and analyzing whether or not one REALLY needs them is highly important. It is nice to be connected, but four different ways seems a bit overkill. Just saying.
3. Use your online inspiration to create something offline
There are a plethora of online ideas that can be translated offline such as trying a new recipe, creating a mood board based off of Pinterest pictures and sayings or even something as drastic as painting one's own wall with artistic flair!
4. Pick up a book. A real one.
Just like it says. This one can be a real game changer. Reading has been a form of entertainment far, far before technology even existed. Choose something you want to read, rather than something your professor forced you to read in class.
May I suggest…
Know my Name by Chanel Miller
Educated by Tara Westover
Absolutely anything by Toni Morrison
5. Exercise, even if it's just a bit
Any sort of movement helps one's body to regenerate and prime to preform. Simply going on a walk, a run, or doing some freeflow yoga class can really reset one's mindset and clarify their thoughts.
6. Reflect on how you really feel
Seriously. Our lives are incredibly disrupted.Our minds and hearts alike overflow with conflicting emotions and thoughts. If you can take a step back, maybe journal or meditate, or even just think about how you honestly feel, you will release internal stress.
7. Challenge yourself
Take yourself seriously. I can vouch for any of these tips to be gamechangers as I am guilty of screen-obsessing but also of remedying the dilemma. While none of these aspects are necessarily "easy," we are all in this together and need to be honest with ourselves. I am positive we can do this, get through this, and un-screen together.